1. The state or condition of being conscious.
2. A sense of one's personal or collective identity, including the attitudes, beliefs, and sensitivities held by or considered characteristic of an individual or group: Love of freedom runs deep in the national consciousness.
a. Special awareness or sensitivity: class consciousness; race consciousness.
b. Alertness to or concern for a particular issue or situation: a movement aimed at raising the general public's consciousness of social injustice.
4. In psychoanalysis, the conscious.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.