a moral or ethical consideration or standard that acts as a restraining force or inhibits certain actions.
a very small portion or amount.
a unit of weight equal to 20 grains (1.295 grams) or 1/3 of a dram, apothecaries' weight.
an ancient Roman unit of weight equivalent to 1/24 of an ounce or 1/288 of an as or pound. Compare as2 ( def 2 ).
verb (used without object), scrupled, scrupling.
to have scruples.
verb (used with object), scrupled, scrupling.
to have scruples about; hesitate at.

1350–1400; (< French scrupule) < Latin scrūpulus unit of weight, worry, precaution equivalent to scrūp(us) rough pebble + -ulus -ule; replacing earlier scriple, Middle English < Latin scrīpulum (variant scriptulum) small weight, pebble, alteration of scrūpulus by association with scrīptum writing (see script; for sense relation cf. gram)

scrupleless, adjective
overscruple, verb, overscrupled, overscrupling.
unscrupled, adjective

1. qualm, compunction, restraint. 6. waver. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scruple (ˈskruːpəl)
1.  (often plural) a doubt or hesitation as to what is morally right in a certain situation
2.  archaic a very small amount
3.  a unit of weight equal to 20 grains (1.296 grams)
4.  an ancient Roman unit of weight equivalent to approximately one twenty-fourth of an ounce
5.  (obsolete when tr) to have doubts (about), esp for a moral reason
[C16: from Latin scrūpulus a small weight, from scrūpus rough stone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1520s, from O.Fr. scrupule (14c.), from L. scrupulus "uneasiness, anxiety, pricking of conscience," lit. "small sharp stone," dim. of scrupus "sharp stone or pebble," used figuratively by Cicero for a cause of uneasiness or anxiety, probably from the notion of having a pebble in one's shoe. The verb
meaning "to have or make scruples" is attested from 1620s. A more literal L. sense of "small unit of weight or measurement" is attested in English from late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

scruple scru·ple (skrōō'pəl)

  1. An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action.

  2. A unit of apothecary weight that is equal to about 1.3 grams, or 20 grains.

  3. A minute part or amount.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
He had little patience with finely drawn distinctions or scruples of method.
He had absolutely no scruples about selling anything to anybody as long as he
  could skim a percentage of the sale.
It was not meant to exempt from military service those who objected to going to
  war but had no scruples about personal gunfights.
Yet such scruples seem to go out of the window when it comes to globe-warming
  oil and gas.
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