non·​con·​scious ˌnän-ˈkän(t)-shəs How to pronounce nonconscious (audio)
: not conscious : unconscious
a nonconscious mental process
nonconscious biases
nonconsciously adverb
nonconsciousness noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But the sort of nonconscious ambivalence revealed by our research does not seem pathological. Vivian Zayas And Yuichi Shoda, Discover Magazine, 18 Feb. 2019 This discomfort seemed to be related to the typical visual characteristics and pattern properties of trypophobic stimuli rather than to nonconscious associations with venomous animals. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 8 Aug. 2017 Blaming a nonsentient and nonconscious entity like a virus for our woes isn't very satisfying. Damon Linker, The Week, 7 Jan. 2022 As the thinking goes, these nonconscious prejudices and stereotypes are spontaneously and automatically activated and may inadvertently affect how white Americans see and treat Black people and other people of color. Tiffany L. Green, Scientific American, 28 Aug. 2020 Separating conscious fear from nonconscious threat processing from the start would avoid such confusion. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, 20 Sep. 2019 Both people are highly likely to obsess over their sunk cost — law school tuition and time served for the lawyer, the original investment amount for the stock picker — in a nonconscious desire to justify their earlier decisions. Gary Belsky, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2016 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonconscious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonconscious was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near nonconscious

Cite this Entry

“Nonconscious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


non·​con·​scious (ˈ)nän-ˈkän-chəs How to pronounce nonconscious (audio)
: not conscious
nonconscious psychic processesA. A. Brill
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