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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishconsciencecon‧science /ˈkɒnʃəns $ ˈkɑːn-/ ●●○ noun [countable, uncountable]  1 MINDGOOD/MORALthe part of your mind that tells you whether what you are doing is morally right or wronga guilty/troubled conscience It was his guilty conscience that made him offer to help. Well, at least I can face them all with a clear conscience (=the knowledge that you have done nothing wrong).prisoner of conscience (=someone in prison because of their beliefs) I can’t tell you what to do – it’s a matter of conscience (=something you must make a moral judgement about). a crisis of conscience among medical staff (=a situation in which it is very difficult to decide what is the right thing to do)Do not confuse with consciousness (=the condition of being awake and aware of things).2 a guilty feeling that you have about something bad you have donetwinge/pang of conscience Ian felt a pang of conscience at having misjudged her.have no conscience (about something) (=not feel guilty about something) They’ve no conscience at all about cheating.3 on your conscience4 not in (all/good) conscienceCOLLOCATIONSadjectivesa clear conscience (=the knowledge that you have done nothing wrong)I was able to answer his questions with a clear conscience.a guilty/troubled conscience (=the knowledge that you have done something wrong)His guilty conscience kept him awake at night.a social conscience (=a moral sense of how society should be or how you can help it)The writer’s strong social conscience is obvious in all his novels.a moral conscience (=an idea of what is right and wrong)At what age do children develop a moral conscience?the public conscience (=people’s idea of what is right or wrong)This scandal shocked the public conscience.the individual conscienceDecisions like this are a matter for the individual conscience.the human conscienceThe human conscience is a product of civilization.verbshave a clear/guilty etc conscienceDoes he have a guilty conscience about his role in the crime?wrestle/struggle with your conscience (=struggle to decide whether it is right or wrong do something)She wrestled with her conscience for weeks before deciding not to leave him.prick somebody’s conscience (=make someone feel guilty)Some of the things he’d done still pricked his conscience.phrasesbe a matter of conscience (=something that you must make a moral judgment about)Whether you vote or not is a matter of conscience.a crisis of conscience (=a situation in which it is very difficult to decide what is the right thing to do)He had a crisis of conscience about whether to take on the legal case.the voice of conscience (=something in your mind that tells you what is right and wrong)Other leaders urged him to listen to the voice of conscience and hold free elections.a prisoner of conscience (=someone who is in prison because they have followed their beliefs about what is right or morally good to do)Vaclav Havel was a prisoner of conscience who later became president of Czechoslovakia.
Examples from the Corpus
conscienceThey acted out of a conscience that patriots despised but at least could understand.As adults we have active consciences which help us do the right thing.However the appointment of staff to fill the new posts meant that our overall complement was little changed and consciences were salved.Marie got up especially early to do all her work so that she could enjoy herself afterwards with a clear conscience.It was a guilty conscience that made him admit stealing the money.Her conscience would not let her take all the credit for their work.His conscience warred with the whispered promises of the semi-sentient sword.She hurried home, conscience- stricken about having left all the dishes for Natalie to do.I have to do what my conscience tells me.Great issues of conscience are thrashed out in impassioned, eloquent language.Parker displayed a remarkable lack of conscience about what he had done.Her murderer was a psychopath with a total lack of conscience.Later Protestantism favoured liberty of conscience.They affected him not only as a man of conscience but as a politician.He was capable of making the most ruthless decisions with no apparent pangs of conscience.What we gain from this is obvious: our own consciences are clear, and we're no longer implicated.He was a man of strong social conscience, who actively campaigned against poverty in all its forms.twinge/pang of conscienceAs he sat in Riddle's chair he experienced a pang of conscience but also a guilty thrill.And they say she would have gotten away with the murder were it not for a pang of conscience.She wouldn't be a burden just because he was having a pang of conscience.A pang of conscience sent a light wash of pink into her cheeks.They do, on occasion, have pangs of conscience regarding self-centredness.
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