Definition of conscientious in US English:



  • 1(of a person) wishing to do what is right, especially to do one's work or duty well and thoroughly.

    ‘a conscientious and hardworking clerk’
    • ‘He abhorred violence of any kind and was hard-working, loyal and conscientious.’
    • ‘A careful, conscientious driver has a momentary lapse in attention, distracted for a second or two, perhaps by a roadside advertisement, and tragedy results - a person is killed.’
    • ‘I would say most councillors recognise that the vast majority of council employees are hard working, conscientious individuals who deserve all the support that elected members can give them.’
    • ‘Operators must be vigilant, conscientious and dedicated in their duties of administering backups and verifying their successful completion.’
    • ‘I am conscientious and studious and dedicated to my education thank you very much.’
    • ‘The boss said he was the best apprentice they ever had because he was so hard working and conscientious.’
    • ‘Most are hard working, conscientious, and dedicated to the NHS, and continual criticism is demoralising.’
    • ‘He was thoroughly conscientious, always helpful and very much liked.’
    • ‘Nadine was one of the most thorough and conscientious editors I've ever known.’
    • ‘For many years she was a dedicated and conscientious member of the Legion of Mary, attending meeting regularly, reciting The Rosary, participating in the Visitation and other work.’
    • ‘There are three areas of character building that a conscientious coach may wish to develop during his time with players.’
    • ‘Hence, a man could be very conscientious in the duties of his occupation and still fail terribly in his calling as a father.’
    • ‘He's turned out to be conscientious and hard working.’
    • ‘Despite uncertain health, he was installed as dean of St Paul's cathedral, where he was conscientious in his duties and subsequently buried.’
    • ‘Kind, conscientious and hard-working, Eddie was a man of many noble qualities who commanded the height of regard and respect among his many friends in England.’
    • ‘She was conscientious in her duties, and would insist on reading every sentence, - there was no saying where she might find faults of grammar or bad spelling.’
    • ‘The truth is that many of the women are better than the men, they are more careful and conscientious.’
    • ‘And the Germans are hard working, conscientious, trying hard to be principled pragmatics, wearing history heavily on their shoulder.’
    • ‘He is observant and conscientious and pays meticulous attention to details.’
    • ‘He was a decent, conscientious, hard working man, who was always very approachable and willing to put himself out for others.’
    diligent, industrious, punctilious, painstaking, sedulous, assiduous, dedicated, careful, meticulous, thorough, attentive, laborious, hard-working, ultra-careful, persevering, unflagging, searching, close, minute, accurate, correct, studious, rigorous, particular
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  • 2Relating to a person's conscience.

    ‘the act does not provide exemption from service on the basis of personal conscientious beliefs’
    • ‘In any case, I believe that it is essential to the integrity of the medical profession that doctors should be allowed to say that they will not carry out a procedure demanded by a patient, on conscientious grounds.’
    • ‘But theists do not violate the functional separation of church and state merely by explaining their own political stance in terms of their conscientious beliefs.’
    • ‘No-one shall be required to bear arms or perform military service against his or her conscientious beliefs.’
    • ‘His society considers the funeral custom of body viewing personal or dependent on the conscientious feelings of the individual.’
    • ‘She's a decent woman who has directed the editorial page to take some very conscientious stands.’
    • ‘It is very refreshing to see that there may be an ability to refuse to pay a levy for a reason relating to conscientious or religious grounds.’
    • ‘He has had the courage to restate his conscientious beliefs in the face of misunderstanding and abuse, and the humility to shoulder the yoke of the 2000-year-old moral tradition that has been entrusted to him.’
    • ‘So if the Legislature wants to accommodate people's religious beliefs as well as their secular philosophical and conscientious beliefs, that's great.’
    • ‘Where so many people find government policies and their execution morally repugnant, we need a moral framework that can expect and honour conscientious dissent.’
    • ‘No juror should surrender his or her conscientious beliefs solely for the purpose of returning a unanimous verdict.’
    • ‘His application was rejected because he failed to convince the commission of his conscientious beliefs.’


Early 17th century: from French consciencieux, from medieval Latin conscientiosus, from Latin conscientia (see conscience).