Definition of stream of consciousness in English:

stream of consciousness


  • 1A person's thoughts and conscious reactions to events, perceived as a continuous flow. The term was introduced by William James in his Principles of Psychology (1890).

    • ‘I swallowed hard as the visions began to fade from my stream of consciousness and I became aware once more of my mother's presence.’
    • ‘How do these hypothesized moral-spiritual events take place in the experiential stream of consciousness?’
    • ‘I know this is all just stream of consciousness, here, but I think the human psychology behind it is the same.’
    • ‘And they're almost free-association, stream of consciousness.’
    • ‘A stream of consciousness of wit and despair is matched by tips about reverse phone psychology; if you don't think about it the phone will ring.’
    • ‘Maybe I should start at an earlier point in my stream of consciousness.’
    • ‘It is a stream of consciousness where Benjy remembers events not in a chronological order but as free association brings them to his mind.’
    • ‘Now, for beliefs to have the actual and potential consequences they do, it is not necessary that everything that you believe should be in your conscious mind, in the stream of consciousness.’
    • ‘Controlled yet so easily distracted, his camera eye acknowledges that existence is merely an ongoing stream of consciousness, intuition, dissociation.’
    • ‘I have an occasional experience in which I can see the subliminal at work in my own stream of consciousness.’
    1. 1.1A literary style in which a character's thoughts, feelings, and reactions are depicted in a continuous flow uninterrupted by objective description or conventional dialogue. James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Marcel Proust are among its notable early exponents.
      [as modifier] ‘a stream-of-consciousness monologue’
      • ‘Other authors have experimented with putting their stream-of-consciousness narrators in motion with mixed results, since the awkwardness of self narrated movement introduces a dissonance into the narration.’
      • ‘Did Basu want to use stream of consciousness as her literary métier?’
      • ‘She was a pioneer of the stream-of-consciousness technique, narrating the action through the mind of her heroine Miriam.’
      • ‘In addition to that, this time I have more of an idea of what to expect in terms of the style in which the book is written, the whole stream of consciousness, free association thing.’
      • ‘Updating the stream-of-consciousness technique of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, Shaw transforms his dreams into a droll epic crammed with postwar American flotsam and jetsam.’
      • ‘It was the most challenging of the pieces with stream-of-consciousness dialogue and monologues freely mixed together as a man and a woman meet on a beach.’
      • ‘This makes it feel stream-of-consciousness even though the arrangements are serious, the extra quirks - toy percussion and piano, a choppy Spanish guitar - woven in with care.’
      • ‘As a result the book is fiery, but not entirely cohesive; at times it resembles a stream-of-consciousness monologue.’
      • ‘It makes one think it was a kind of stream of consciousness, a dream writing.’
      • ‘Bleached of punctuation, the words flow freely in a stream of consciousness manner reminiscent of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.’


stream of consciousness