noun (1)

Synonyms & Antonyms of scruple

(Entry 1 of 3)

2 a very small piece
  • left just a scruple of asparagus on the plate

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noun (2)

Synonyms & Antonyms of scruple (Entry 2 of 3)

an uneasy feeling about the rightness of what one is doing or going to do
  • the survey showed that many students had few scruples about cheating on papers or exams

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Synonyms & Antonyms of scruple (Entry 3 of 3)

to show uncertainty about the right course of action
  • a tabloid journalist who has never scrupled to reveal the most intimate details about the lives of celebrities

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Frequently Asked Questions About scruple

How does the noun scruple differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of scruple are compunction, demur, and qualm. While all these words mean "a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do," scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle.

no scruples against buying stolen goods

In what contexts can compunction take the place of scruple?

The meanings of compunction and scruple largely overlap; however, compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim.

had compunctions about lying

Where would demur be a reasonable alternative to scruple?

Although the words demur and scruple have much in common, demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence.

accepted her decision without demur

When could qualm be used to replace scruple?

The synonyms qualm and scruple are sometimes interchangeable, but qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment.

no qualms about plagiarizing

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Time Traveler for scruple

Time Traveler

The first known use of scruple was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Scruple.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on scruple

Nglish: Translation of scruple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scruple for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about scruple


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