Definition of conscientious in 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’
    • ‘Hence, a man could be very conscientious in the duties of his occupation and still fail terribly in his calling as a father.’
    • ‘He is observant and conscientious and pays meticulous attention to details.’
    • ‘Operators must be vigilant, conscientious and dedicated in their duties of administering backups and verifying their successful completion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The boss said he was the best apprentice they ever had because he was so hard working 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.’
    • ‘He abhorred violence of any kind and was hard-working, loyal and conscientious.’
    • ‘He was thoroughly conscientious, always helpful and very much liked.’
    • ‘There are three areas of character building that a conscientious coach may wish to develop during his time with players.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was a decent, conscientious, hard working man, who was always very approachable and willing to put himself out for others.’
    • ‘The truth is that many of the women are better than the men, they are more careful and conscientious.’
    • ‘He's turned out to be conscientious and hard working.’
    • ‘Most are hard working, conscientious, and dedicated to the NHS, and continual criticism is demoralising.’
    • ‘I am conscientious and studious and dedicated to my education thank you very much.’
    • ‘And the Germans are hard working, conscientious, trying hard to be principled pragmatics, wearing history heavily on their shoulder.’
    • ‘Despite uncertain health, he was installed as dean of St Paul's cathedral, where he was conscientious in his duties and subsequently buried.’
    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
    View synonyms
  • 2Relating to a person's conscience.

    ‘the act does not provide exemption from service on the basis of personal conscientious beliefs’
    • ‘No juror should surrender his or her conscientious beliefs solely for the purpose of returning a unanimous verdict.’
    • ‘She's a decent woman who has directed the editorial page to take some very conscientious stands.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No-one shall be required to bear arms or perform military service against his or her conscientious beliefs.’
    • ‘So if the Legislature wants to accommodate people's religious beliefs as well as their secular philosophical and conscientious beliefs, that's great.’
    • ‘His application was rejected because he failed to convince the commission of his conscientious beliefs.’
    • ‘His society considers the funeral custom of body viewing personal or dependent on the conscientious feelings of the individual.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Where so many people find government policies and their execution morally repugnant, we need a moral framework that can expect and honour conscientious dissent.’
    • ‘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.’


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