conscience

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have a clean conscience

To be guiltless or have no feelings of guilt or remorse over something. Don't you dare accuse me of causing this, I have a clean conscience! Some people think I should have treated him better, but I have a clean conscience in this whole affair.
See also: clean, conscience, have

(one's) conscience is clean

One is guiltless or has no feelings of guilt or remorse over something. Don't you dare accuse me of causing this, my conscience is clean! Some people think I should have treated him better, but my conscience is clean in this whole affair.
See also: clean, conscience

(one's) conscience is clear

One is guiltless or has no feelings of guilt or remorse over something. Don't you dare accuse me of causing this, my conscience is clear! Some people think I should have treated him better, but my conscience is clear in this whole affair.
See also: clear, conscience

eat (away) at (someone's) conscience

To increasingly cause or inspire troubled feelings of guilt, especially for an extended period of time. Stealing that money from my parents has been eating away at my conscience for the past month. Don't let it eat at your conscience, anyone would have done the same thing in that situation.
See also: conscience, eat

have (something) on (one's) conscience

To have persistent feelings of guilt about something, such as an act of wrongdoing. It's because of your cruelty that your brother died. I hope you have it on your conscience for the rest of your days!
See also: conscience, have, on

be on (one's) conscience

To be a persistent cause or source of guilt, such as an act of wrongdoing. It's because of your cruelty that your brother died. I hope it's on your conscience for the rest of your days!
See also: conscience, on

conscience money

Money paid to another in an attempt to alleviate the payer's guilty conscience. I felt so badly about breaking my mom's lamp that I eventually gave her conscience money, in the hopes that it would make me feel better.
See also: conscience, money

in (all) conscience

Without guilt. Usually said to emphasize fairness in a transaction. Primarily heard in UK. In all conscience, I can't charge you more than the car is worth. No, I can't, in conscience, give you a better grade when you put such little effort into the assignment!
See also: conscience

a guilty conscience needs no accuser

A feeling of guilt and remorse can be so strong that it will prompt an offender to confess, even if no one is requiring him or her to do so. Gary felt so guilty after taking the money out of Bill's wallet that he confessed and returned it a day later. A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
See also: conscience, guilty, needs

Conscience does make cowards of us all.

Prov. People sometimes fear to do what they want or what they believe is necessary because they think it is wrong. (From Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.) Alan: I really want to go to the ball game with you guys this afternoon, but it just doesn't seem right to skip work to do it. Fred: Conscience does make cowards of us all, right, Alan?
See also: all, conscience, coward, does, make, of

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.

Prov. If you have done something wrong and feel guilty about it, you will be uncomfortable and want to confess even if no one accuses you of wrongdoing. Even though no one noticed him eating most of the cookies, Peter felt so bad about it that he told us what he had done. A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
See also: conscience, guilty, needs

have a clear conscience (about someone or something)

 and have a clean conscience (about someone or something)
to be free of guilt about someone or something. I'm sorry that John got the blame. I have a clean conscience about the whole affair. I have a clear conscience about John and his problems. I didn't do it. I swear to that with a clean conscience.
See also: clear, conscience, have

in (all) good conscience

Fig. having good motives; displaying motives that will not result in a guilty conscience. In all good conscience, I could not recommend that you buy this car. In good conscience, she could not accept the reward. She had only been acting as a good citizen should.
See also: conscience, good

in good conscience

(slightly formal)
without feeling guilty I could not in good conscience recommend a family member for the job.
See also: conscience, good

prick somebody's conscience

to make someone feel guilty Seeing pictures of starving children pricks my conscience, but I rarely give money to charity.
See also: conscience, prick

have a clear conscience

Also, have a clean conscience. Feel free of guilt or responsibility. For example, I have a clear conscience-I did all I could to help. This idiom is also put as one's conscience is clear or clean , as in His conscience is clean about telling the whole story. The adjective clear has been used in the sense of "innocent" since about 1400; clean was so used from about 1300.
See also: clear, conscience, have

in conscience

Also, in all good conscience. In all truth or fairness, as in I can't in conscience say that the meeting went well, or In all good conscience we can't support their stand on disarmament. [Late 1500s]
See also: conscience

in (all good) conscience

In all fairness; by any reasonable standard.
See also: conscience

on (one's) conscience

Causing one to feel guilty or uneasy.
See also: conscience, on
References in periodicals archive ?
The Hollywood Reporter remarked, "Henstridge (plays) a gamut of emotions, from cool ice queen to conscienceless villain," while Jackie Cooper commented, "Henstridge is beautifully seductive in this film.
The tragedy that plunged the world into a state of shock and despair over the rising conscienceless of mankind needed a counterbalancing force of goodness and the Dutch provided it admirably.
Baynard's List is second in the Attebrook series, and Attebrook must find a stolen list of supporters of rebels plotting to overthrow King Henry III before a conscienceless killer gets to it first.
He said that people have become psychological patients, as a result of 12 hours long load shedding, which has created large scale unemployment, but the conscienceless rulers of Islamabad are further aggravating the situation by displaying complete apathy to the people's problems.
The police are absolutely right to pursue such depraved and conscienceless perpetrators.
They are horrors-strong, quick, conscienceless, with nightmarish eyes.
Every time we refuse to take responsibility and demand responsibility, uncle Screw tape has got us screwed and wriggling on the wail, tagged for the conscienceless wasteland.
He is indeed also a conscienceless sociopath, which never quite makes full character sense, though Huston plays him with great charisma and scene-by-scene intelligence.
Our statute books are filled with such examples as Megan's Law, Amber Alerts and the Jessica Lunsford Law, all of which are reactions to the senseless, meaningless, vain deaths of our children at the hands of conscienceless souls.
Clinton's Presidency is remarkable for the way in which an astute and apparently conscienceless President was able to avoid successful impeachment.
Stone's Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory Knox (Juliette Lewis) are supposed to be conscienceless white trash made into superstars by tabloid culture.
He said the country is facing the worst loadshedding in its history and now people have to bear agonizing loadshedding even during the times of Iftari and Sehr, but the conscienceless rulers are unmoved.
But he could not be the effective Communist leader without also being the conscienceless monster.
We can either treat politely and fairly with our neighbors, or we can pay the increasing cost of the conscienceless international policy promulgated in corporate, especially petroleum, boardrooms.
To a question, he said that his party would not go into dialogue with PML-Q, as its leadership, according to him, is conscienceless.