Definition of self-conscious in English:



  • 1Feeling undue awareness of oneself, one's appearance, or one's actions.

    ‘I feel a bit self-conscious parking my scruffy old car’
    ‘a self-conscious laugh’
    • ‘‘A lot of kids are also self-conscious and awkward when they go on holiday alone because of their condition but here they forget all that,’ he explained.’
    • ‘Children may also feel self-conscious about their appearance and lack confidence in social situations, if they have severe facial abnormalities.’
    • ‘At the start of the six-week course, the women are timid and self-conscious.’
    • ‘In fact, many children with P.E. are self-conscious about their appearance and choose not to participate in athletics.’
    • ‘Between the movie we'd just seen and the movie about to be made, we both felt awkward and self-conscious, as if we were auditioning for the roles of ourselves.’
    • ‘They are so busy concentrating on the dance that they forget to be self-conscious about their appearance.’
    • ‘Handily for such awkward, self-conscious creatures, you can't really dance to it either.’
    • ‘The change in Eloise from being timidly self-conscious regarding her appearance to publicly yelling at a figure of authority was quite remarkable.’
    • ‘They didn't recognize that it's a disease, like any other disease, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about or self-conscious about.’
    • ‘Suddenly I felt very self-conscious about my appearance.’
    • ‘She was very self-critical and self-conscious about her appearance and actions.’
    • ‘She took virtually no exercise and was self-conscious about her appearance.’
    • ‘It showed me a way of arguing, quite different from the hot-faced, angry exchanges with family members or the awkward, self-conscious exchanges with school friends.’
    • ‘It gave me hope that maybe this friendship thing could work out, that we could eventually get to a point where our interactions weren't always self-conscious and awkward.’
    • ‘Obesity experts who compiled the document say self-conscious adolescents feel embarrassed in the presence of the opposite gender during gym and swimming lessons.’
    • ‘Unlike more socially self-conscious authors, Fraser appears to have no axe to grind.’
    • ‘Tall and gangly, with a long nose and beady eyes, he was self-conscious about his appearance and despaired of ever being loved.’
    • ‘I also looked older than children my own age, so being around them made me feel awkward and self-conscious.’
    • ‘He suffered from bad acne and was self-conscious about his appearance.’
    • ‘Made with untrained actors, the film has home-video moments of self-conscious awkwardness.’
    embarrassed, uncomfortable, ill at ease, uneasy, nervous, tense, edgy
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  • 2(especially of an action or intention) deliberate and with full awareness, especially affectedly so.

    ‘her self-conscious identification with the upper classes’
    • ‘This year's prize has a secondary purpose: as a self-conscious attempt to define, by its own indefinability, the state of British art in 2002.’
    • ‘He alone supplied the deft and necessary touch of self-conscious theatrical artifice.’
    • ‘Her photographs have the look and feel of mere snapshots, as unmediated realism, unencumbered by artifice and self-conscious construction.’
    • ‘The importance of tactility and of body-object proximity is inflected, moreover, in the self-conscious design of such boxes - a matter of fashion and of comfort.’
    • ‘This ‘tailoring’ was not, we may be certain, particularly deliberate or self-conscious.’
    • ‘To have knowledge, one must always be able, when necessary, to justify what one says, even though one need not always obtain one's knowledge via a self-conscious justificatory process.’
    deliberate, careful, thoughtful, considered, conscious, calculated, intentional, volitional, designed, mannered, measured, studious, knowing, purposeful
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    1. 2.1Philosophy Psychology Having knowledge of one's own existence, especially the knowledge of oneself as a conscious being.
      ‘a self-conscious moral agent’
      ‘a self-conscious proletariat’
      • ‘It is an interesting question whether any cognitively sophisticated, rational, self-conscious agent must experience situations of choice in this way.’
      • ‘Rational beings exist not only as self-conscious centres of knowledge, but also as agents.’
      • ‘Of course, philosophically speaking, where humans differ from other species is that they are self-conscious, in a way that albatrosses and flatworms just don't seem to be.’
      • ‘Only self-conscious moral agents can weigh and judge the life of humans or animals.’
      • ‘I think that humans are the only self-conscious moral agents.’