Definition of self-consciousness in English:



mass noun
  • 1Undue awareness of oneself, one's appearance, or one's actions.

    ‘people warm to her candour and lack of self-consciousness’
    ‘the awkward self-consciousness of adolescence’
    • ‘With the onset of adolescence, we see a lot of painful self-consciousness, along with attempts to appear more adult, whatever that may mean.’
    • ‘She seems to remember what it's like being 13, and she embodies all the awkward enthusiasm and self-consciousness of adolescence.’
    • ‘Usually, when girls feel this way, they just have a serious case of self-consciousness.’
    • ‘She tried desperately to run an efficient operation, but ultimately her self-consciousness and constant bad luck conspired against her.’
    • ‘Movies about children always run the risk of cuteness, because kids often play to the camera with little self-consciousness.’
    • ‘A poet of inwardness, he focuses on the delicate self-consciousness of the young man as thematic contrast to his behaviour's transgressive nature.’
    • ‘I made it my goal not to let my self-consciousness get in the way.’
    • ‘Who else, after all, would describe the onset of puberty in terms of self-consciousness over performing Scottish dances?’
    • ‘My own self-consciousness increased as I wore the banner outdoors and a woman asked me what was stencilled in white capital letters on it.’
    • ‘Restyled in her rock chic gear, her initial self-consciousness gives way to abandon on the dance floor.’
  • 2The quality of being carried out deliberately and with full awareness, especially in an affected way.

    ‘the self-consciousness of the opening scene devolves steadily into parody’
    ‘the self-consciousness of the exercise’
    • ‘The opening sequence's self-consciousness crests after he has fought two killers and the woman flees the scene.’
    • ‘Primarily a portrait of suburban teenage angst, it feels entirely contemporary, yet it avoids the smarmy self-consciousness of most horror films.’
    • ‘His aesthetic and educational style borrowed the confident clarity of Walker Evans's photography and the baroque self-consciousness of James Agee's writing.’
    • ‘The lights and cameras suggest a stage set, emphasizing the artifice and self-consciousness of representation the work is meant to suggest.’
    • ‘The movie curdles on its own self-consciousness, giving a bad name to kitsch.’
    • ‘There are some great loopy monologues and absurd dialogues, with none of the usual self-consciousness.’
    • ‘There's no preciousness or self-consciousness in his onscreen persona.’
    • ‘Moments of overt self-consciousness creep in far too often, and many moments beg the question of who exactly is shooting this footage.’
    • ‘The film's main affliction is self-consciousness.’
    • ‘Her recent collages boast over-the-top, custom-made mats and frames that emphasize the works' extreme self-consciousness and formal control.’
    1. 2.1Philosophy Psychology Knowledge of one's own existence, especially the knowledge of oneself as a conscious being.
      ‘the political self-consciousness of the working class’
      • ‘Knowledge of the relation of past and present could prove instrumental in the formation of a mature, revolutionary self-consciousness.’
      • ‘When it became a grand duchy of the tsarist empire, the first seeds of national self-consciousness were sown.’
      • ‘I think it would be better characterized as a necessary step towards creating a kind of cultural awareness and self-consciousness.’
      • ‘It's as if he were untouched by postcolonial self-consciousness—or any other theoretical concerns, for that matter.’
      • ‘Political, economic, and spiritual constraints left 'cultural expression' as the only means of preserving national self-consciousness.’
      • ‘The interviewees have an acute historical awareness or self-consciousness—almost all of them see themselves as historical subjects.’
      • ‘The recent exhibition surveys the era in which the city's modern sense of historical self-consciousness was established.’
      • ‘A postmodernist approach is defined here as a self-consciousness that always places history in relation to the circumstances of its representations in the present.’
      • ‘His colours and figures were too decorative and ingratiating to satisfy the period's tough talk about heroic self-consciousness and mythic ambition.’
      • ‘He prefers to concentrate on what one might consider a growing Hegelian self-consciousness in Africa.’