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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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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 them 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.
conscience does make cowards of us all
The conscience often prevents one from doing things that one wants to do (perhaps things that wrong or inappropriate). The phrase comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. I really want to insult him back, but I just can't. Ugh, conscience does make cowards of us all.
prick (one's) conscience
To cause one niggling feelings of guilt or remorse. It pricked my conscience to see my brother being led away in handcuffs, but I know it was the right thing to call the cops on him. Their promotional material is carefully crafted to prick the conscience of anyone who picks it up.
in good conscience
With respectable motives that would not cause one to feel guilty. Despite the promise of massive bonuses, I could not in good conscience sell our customers sub-prime mortgages. I have to be able to sign off on the company's accounts in good conscience.
on (one's) conscience
Causing one persistent, nagging guilt for something one did or failed to do. It's because of your cruelty that your brother died. I hope you have it on your conscience for the rest of your days! I really regret the way I treated her in high school. It's still on my conscience to this day.
prisoner of conscience
Someone imprisoned for their political or religious beliefs or other ideologies or actions associated therewith. Arrested for using social media to condemn the actions of the dictator, they are now prisoners of conscience.
search (one's) conscience
To carefully consider or think about one's own motivations for doing something. We're asking upper management to search their consciences and realize that this decision will negatively impact every employee in the company. I know you're hurt right now, but search your conscience—you don't want to go through with this.
search (one's) heart
To carefully consider or think about one's own emotions about or motivations for something. We're asking upper management to search their hearts and realize that this decision will negatively impact every employee in the company. I know you're hurt right now, but search your heart—you know that breaking up was the right thing to do.
have a clear 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 clear conscience! Some people think I should have treated him better, but I have a clear conscience in this whole affair.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
prisoner of consciencea person detained or imprisoned because of their religious or political beliefs.
This phrase is particularly associated with the campaigns of Amnesty International, a human-rights organization.
in all/good ˈconsciencewhile being honest or just: You cannot in all conscience think that is fair pay.
on your ˈconsciencemaking you feel guilty for doing or failing to do something: I’ll write and apologize. I’ve had it on my conscience for weeks.
prick your ˈconscience,
your ˈconscience pricks youmake you feel guilty about something; feel guilty about something: Her conscience pricked her as she lied to her sister.
search your ˈheart/ˈsoul/ˈconscience(formal) think carefully about your feelings or your reasons for doing something: If I searched my heart I’d probably find that I don’t always tell the truth. ▶ ˈheart-searching, ˈsoul-searching nouns: His divorce forced him to do a lot of soul-searching.
in (all good) conscience
In all fairness; by any reasonable standard.
on (one's) conscience
Causing one to feel guilty or uneasy.
clear conscience, to have a
To feel free from blame, obligation, or a similar burden because one is guiltless (or so believes). The sixteenth-century writer John Lyly used the term several times in his Euphues (1580)—“a cleere conscience is a sure card”—and the same phrase turned up in James Howell’s proverb collection of 1659. Nearly a century later Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Keep Conscience clear, then never fear” (Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1749).
dictates of conscience
The guiding principles of what one believes is right. The word “dictate” has been so used, for the authoritative words of law, scripture, and the like, since the late sixteenth century. In 1656 Archbishop John Bramhall wrote, “Contrarie to the dictate of his conscience.”