Conscience vs Compunction - What's the difference?

conscience | compunction |


As nouns the difference between conscience and compunction

is that conscience is the moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects one's own behaviour; inwit while compunction is a pricking of conscience or a feeling of regret, especially one which is slight or fleeting.

conscience

Noun

(en noun)
  • The moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects one's own behaviour.
  • * 1949 , , as quoted by Virgil Henshaw in Albert Einstein: Philosopher Scientist ,
  • Never do anything against conscience , even if the state demands it.
  • * 1951 , (Isaac Asimov), publication), part V: “The Merchant Princes”, chapter 14, page 175, ¶ 7
  • [“]Twer is not a friend of mine testifying against me reluctantly and for conscience ’ sake, as the prosecution would have you believe. He is a spy, performing his paid job.[”]
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=18 citation , passage=‘Then the father has a great fight with his terrible conscience ,’ said Munday with granite seriousness. ‘Should he make a row with the police […]? Or should he say nothing about it and condone brutality for fear of appearing in the newspapers?}}
  • (chiefly fiction) A personification of the moral sense of right and wrong, usually in the form of a person, a being or merely a voice that gives moral lessons and advices.
  • (obsolete) Consciousness; thinking; awareness, especially self-awareness.
  • * 1603 , (William Shakespeare), (Hamlet) , act 3, scene 1,
  • Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.

    Usage notes

    * Adjectives often used with "conscience": good, bad, guilty. * Phrases: To make conscience of, To make a matter of conscience, to act according to the dictates of conscience concerning (any matter), or to scruple to act contrary to its dictates.

    Derived terms

    * consciencelike * conscience money * conscience vote * conscientious * make conscience * pang of conscience

    See also

    * synteresis

    compunction

    English

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • A pricking of conscience or a feeling of regret, especially one which is slight or fleeting.
  • * :
  • [H]e would have had no compunction whatever in flinging him out of the highest window in Venice into the deepest water of the city.
  • * 1897 , , Dracula , ch. 3:
  • I felt no compunction in doing so, for under the circumstances I felt that I should protect myself in every way I could.
  • * 1920 , , Women in Love , ch. 8:
  • But he felt, later, a little compunction . He had been violent, cruel with poor Hermione. He wanted to recompense her, to make it up.
  • * 2003 February 16, Blaine Greteman, " No Peace Dividend," Time :
  • As for average U.S. consumers, they've shown little compunction about buying diamonds that fund bloody militias in Africa.

    Synonyms

    * regret, remorse, qualm * See also

    See also

    * contrition * penitence, penance * guilt