a. Characterized by or having an awareness of one's environment and one's own existence, sensations, and thoughts. See Synonyms at aware.
b. Mentally perceptive or alert; awake: The patient remained fully conscious after the local anesthetic was administered.
2. Capable of thought, will, or perception: the development of conscious life on the planet.
3. Subjectively known or felt: conscious remorse.
4. Intentionally conceived or done; deliberate: a conscious insult; made a conscious effort to speak more clearly.
5. Inwardly attentive or sensitive to something: As he spoke, he became increasingly conscious of his high-pitched voice.
6. Showing awareness of or preoccupation with something. Often used in combination: a cost-conscious approach to health care; a value-conscious shopper.
In psychoanalysis, the component of waking awareness perceptible by a person at any given instant; consciousness.
[From Latin cōnscius : com-, com- + scīre, to know; see skei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus