1. Aware of oneself as an individual or of one's own being, actions, or thoughts.
2. Socially ill at ease: The self-conscious teenager sat alone during lunch.
3. Excessively conscious of one's appearance or manner: The self-conscious actor kept fixing his hair.
4. Showing the effects of self-consciousness; stilted: self-conscious prose.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.