Definition of conscious in US English:



  • 1Aware of and responding to one's surroundings; awake.

    • ‘Generally, the patients were conscious when admitted on to the neurosurgical wards.’
    • ‘So why then are the surgeons so reluctant to operate on conscious patients?’
    • ‘Most had died along the way, but one young lad, his arm and leg completely shattered by shrapnel, was conscious and groaning.’
    • ‘The first man has spat out his endotracheal tube and is conscious, asking what the score is.’
    • ‘Its critics claim that some downed animals are passed by inspectors because they are just conscious enough to respond to a kick.’
    • ‘Neurological examination 48 hours later showed that he was conscious and able to obey commands but profoundly weak.’
    • ‘During 2002, fully conscious patients with a polio-like flaccid paralysis were also recognised.’
    • ‘She's barely conscious, but she does react when you talk to her.’
    • ‘The Glasgow coma scale is a clinical scoring system for objectively assessing how conscious a patient is.’
    • ‘Patients who are conscious but in a vegetative state may also have their life support stopped.’
    • ‘The patient is conscious at this point and is repeatedly examined by the surgeon or neurologist.’
    • ‘The person may remain completely or partially aware, and will remain conscious.’
    • ‘If the casualty is conscious, put them in the recovery position - see below.’
    • ‘If the patient is conscious and alert, call the local poison control center.’
    • ‘The four adult members of the family were conscious but had muscle stiffness with periodic convulsive movements of the limbs and opisthotonos.’
    • ‘Every conscious minute of my entire life the heterosexual mantra is broadcasted.’
    • ‘He was admitted to the ICU conscious and alert, but with a very low blood pressure, and very marginal oxygenation.’
    • ‘You can also choose to stay conscious during the operation, or be mildly sedated so that you aren't fully aware of what is happening.’
    • ‘Patients with a normal conscious level, no signs of external injury, and a history of a trivial blow to the head can be discharged.’
    • ‘For cooperative, conscious patients it may be possible to collect and then analyze expired air.’
    aware, awake, wide awake, compos mentis, alert, responsive, reactive, feeling, sentient
    aware of, alive to, awake to, alert to, sensitive to, cognizant of, mindful of, sensible of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Having knowledge of something; aware.
      ‘we are conscious of the extent of the problem’
      • ‘We have never been so aware of the issue of waste, or so conscious of the need to recycle.’
      • ‘I am conscious of the need for caution but have not allowed for the determination of Peru's ladrones.’
      • ‘I am also conscious of the important contribution they make to our economy.’
      • ‘Both rider and vet would have been conscious of the risks they were taking so close to a games that was marked by a hunt for drug cheats.’
      • ‘Home, she says, is definitely London, but she is conscious of her Scottish roots.’
      • ‘When I had my first two, I was younger and less conscious of what was required of me as a parent.’
      • ‘People are very conscious of the need to make roads as safe as possible.’
      • ‘The majority of us can be misunderstood if we are not conscious of the divisions in our society.’
      • ‘The pupils were aware of the obesity problem and conscious of the need to eat healthy foods.’
      • ‘He has also called on motorists to be more conscious of pedestrians and cyclists.’
      • ‘We are conscious of what we do to the extent that we are conscious also of what we do not do - of what we might have done.’
      • ‘I was conscious of being lucky to live in an old house, looking out over the broad river.’
      • ‘It was the comics that made me conscious of a life outside the little parochial society of Ireland.’
      • ‘Many of our younger folk may not even know the prayer but at least they are conscious of what it means.’
    2. 1.2conscious of Painfully aware of; sensitive to.
      ‘he was very conscious of his appearance’
      • ‘Nowadays, however, women are far more conscious of its negative aesthetic effect.’
      • ‘First, being conscious of a pain might mean that one is aware of being in a pain-state.’
      • ‘From about six onwards young girls are becoming conscious of their looks.’
      • ‘He was new and I was conscious of trying to show that someone was listening to him.’
      • ‘Her aunts would compliment on her beauty and now she was always conscious of how she dressed.’
      • ‘As a film-maker I would not like to be conscious of what the censors will like or not.’
      • ‘I'm conscious of turning crimson all of a sudden and grinning like an idiot.’
      • ‘They are also conscious of being solitary women in a highly masculine world.’
      • ‘I am improving, but very conscious of my bum sticking out in a very ungainly and style-free way.’
      • ‘That night she climbed into bed just as conscious of Will's absence now as she had been the night after he died.’
      • ‘She's very conscious of trying to wear clothes that make her feel and look good.’
      • ‘So on one level they're very conscious of the fact that their Spanish came from Spain.’
    3. 1.3 Concerned with or worried about a particular matter.
      ‘they were growing increasingly security-conscious’
    4. 1.4 (of an action or feeling) deliberate and intentional.
      ‘a conscious effort to walk properly’
      • ‘Has choosing such roles been a conscious effort on her part?’
      • ‘This calls for conscious and deliberate efforts to develop qualities like altruism and selflessness.’
      • ‘So, I'm making a conscious effort to not feel guilty unnecessarily.’
      • ‘The effort was conscious and deliberate with each artist paired with a designer.’
      • ‘We made a really conscious effort to forget about the critics - nothing good can come from thinking about that, anyway.’
      • ‘Cricket is a game that I have a lot of time for, ever since I made the conscious effort a few years ago to sit down and make myself familiar with the rules.’
      • ‘The actions of cultural heroes are neither fully intentional nor conscious.’
      • ‘That just happened, it wasn't a conscious effort really, but I think just by the nature of having more characters in it.’
      • ‘They are created by conscious and deliberate planning, which may span centuries.’
      • ‘Certain others benefited from deliberate and conscious acts of emancipation.’
      • ‘Just imagine what the world would be like if every one of us made a conscious effort to genuinely love one another?’
      • ‘As more immigrants came to the country, there was a conscious effort to mold children into American citizens.’
      • ‘Sharing involves both teaching and learning - actions that require a conscious effort.’
      • ‘These students are now more aware of what they eat and are making conscious decisions to eat well and get active.’
      deliberate, intentional, intended, done on purpose, purposeful, purposive, willed, knowing, considered, studied, strategic
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 (of the mind or a thought) directly perceptible to and under the control of the person concerned.
      • ‘As in life, the provocations to feeling or to action do not occur in step with the conscious thoughts of the characters.’
      • ‘Specialized neural machinery takes care of the heavy lifting while our conscious minds sit lazily at the controls.’
      • ‘Any conscious thought process that may be required on the range to shoot well will hardly exist when your meter is pegged.’
      • ‘And hypnosis works was bypassing the conscious mind and communicating directly with the unconscious mind.’
      • ‘Dreams are highly personal communications between the subconscious and the conscious minds.’
      • ‘It is entirely possible that someone has a reasonable opinion, deriving from conscious thought.’
      • ‘Then my subconscious mind taught my conscious mind how to use the tricks it had learnt.’
      • ‘The war is between my habitual and conscious thoughts about how to live and a new perspective struggling to be born.’
      • ‘In this state, the subconscious mind becomes more active, allowing the conscious mind to rest and rejuvenate itself.’
      • ‘In what respects are both conscious thought and perception phenomenal?’
      • ‘In this totality the conscious mind is contained like a smaller circle within a larger one.’
      • ‘She had let her subconscious wander while her conscious mind paid attention to the landscape around her.’
      • ‘Eventually, the activities should become so ingrained they no longer seem like conscious thought.’
      • ‘It is here that the conscious thought and the perceptive experience flow.’
      • ‘Then, before he knew exactly what he was doing, he was moving, almost without conscious thought.’
      • ‘The conscious mind then reverses the reverse message and directs us to speak in forward speech.’
      • ‘The phenomenal character of conscious thought and propositional attitudes will be discussed in the next chapter.’
      • ‘All conscious thought seemed to shut off, disconnect, leaving him only to instincts.’
      • ‘However, I believe nightmares are a gift of our subconscious to our conscious minds.’
      • ‘Even conventional psychology talks about the fact we have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind.’


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘being aware of wrongdoing’): from Latin conscius ‘knowing with others or in oneself’ (from conscire ‘be privy to’) + -ous.