Definition of self-conscious in US English:



  • 1Feeling undue awareness of oneself, one's appearance, or one's actions.

    ‘I feel a bit self-conscious parking my scruffy old car’
    ‘a self-conscious laugh’
    • ‘Handily for such awkward, self-conscious creatures, you can't really dance to it either.’
    • ‘I also looked older than children my own age, so being around them made me feel awkward and self-conscious.’
    • ‘They didn't recognize that it's a disease, like any other disease, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about or self-conscious about.’
    • ‘She was very self-critical and self-conscious about her appearance and actions.’
    • ‘Unlike more socially self-conscious authors, Fraser appears to have no axe to grind.’
    • ‘Tall and gangly, with a long nose and beady eyes, he was self-conscious about his appearance and despaired of ever being loved.’
    • ‘The change in Eloise from being timidly self-conscious regarding her appearance to publicly yelling at a figure of authority was quite remarkable.’
    • ‘‘A lot of kids are also self-conscious and awkward when they go on holiday alone because of their condition but here they forget all that,’ he explained.’
    • ‘He suffered from bad acne and was self-conscious about his appearance.’
    • ‘It gave me hope that maybe this friendship thing could work out, that we could eventually get to a point where our interactions weren't always self-conscious and awkward.’
    • ‘At the start of the six-week course, the women are timid and self-conscious.’
    • ‘She took virtually no exercise and was self-conscious about her appearance.’
    • ‘They are so busy concentrating on the dance that they forget to be self-conscious about their appearance.’
    • ‘Between the movie we'd just seen and the movie about to be made, we both felt awkward and self-conscious, as if we were auditioning for the roles of ourselves.’
    • ‘Children may also feel self-conscious about their appearance and lack confidence in social situations, if they have severe facial abnormalities.’
    • ‘It showed me a way of arguing, quite different from the hot-faced, angry exchanges with family members or the awkward, self-conscious exchanges with school friends.’
    • ‘Suddenly I felt very self-conscious about my appearance.’
    • ‘Obesity experts who compiled the document say self-conscious adolescents feel embarrassed in the presence of the opposite gender during gym and swimming lessons.’
    • ‘Made with untrained actors, the film has home-video moments of self-conscious awkwardness.’
    • ‘In fact, many children with P.E. are self-conscious about their appearance and choose not to participate in athletics.’
    embarrassed, uncomfortable, ill at ease, uneasy, nervous, tense, edgy
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    1. 1.1Philosophy Psychology Having knowledge of one's own existence, especially the knowledge of oneself as a conscious being.
      • ‘It is an interesting question whether any cognitively sophisticated, rational, self-conscious agent must experience situations of choice in this way.’
      • ‘Rational beings exist not only as self-conscious centres of knowledge, but also as agents.’
      • ‘I think that humans are the only self-conscious moral agents.’
      • ‘Of course, philosophically speaking, where humans differ from other species is that they are self-conscious, in a way that albatrosses and flatworms just don't seem to be.’
      • ‘Only self-conscious moral agents can weigh and judge the life of humans or animals.’
    2. 1.2 (especially of an action or intention) deliberate and with full awareness, especially affectedly so.
      ‘her self-conscious identification with the upper classes’
      • ‘This year's prize has a secondary purpose: as a self-conscious attempt to define, by its own indefinability, the state of British art in 2002.’
      • ‘To have knowledge, one must always be able, when necessary, to justify what one says, even though one need not always obtain one's knowledge via a self-conscious justificatory process.’
      • ‘The importance of tactility and of body-object proximity is inflected, moreover, in the self-conscious design of such boxes - a matter of fashion and of comfort.’
      • ‘He alone supplied the deft and necessary touch of self-conscious theatrical artifice.’
      • ‘This ‘tailoring’ was not, we may be certain, particularly deliberate or self-conscious.’
      • ‘Her photographs have the look and feel of mere snapshots, as unmediated realism, unencumbered by artifice and self-conscious construction.’
      deliberate, careful, thoughtful, considered, conscious, calculated, intentional, volitional, designed, mannered, measured, studious, knowing, purposeful
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/ˈˌself ˈkänSHəs//ˈˌsɛlf ˈkɑnʃəs/