9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[self-kon-shuh s, self-] /ˈsɛlfˈkɒn ʃəs, ˌsɛlf-/
excessively aware of being observed by others.
conscious of oneself or one's own being.
Origin of self-conscious
Related forms
self-consciously, adverb
self-consciousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for self-conscious
  • But only if it's the right kind of concentrated, self-conscious, deliberate practice.
  • Its inscription is a self-conscious statement for posterity.
  • Most people would start to feel self-conscious wielding a three-year-old phone, camera, music player or laptop.
  • Teens are so self-conscious and vulnerable to peer pressure that anything different terrifies them.
  • Apparently few could take seriously the described food, the restaurant that prepared it, or the self-conscious reviewer.
  • Cap becomes more self-conscious, more socially aware-all the while wrestling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • The tension between self-conscious innovators and incremental executors pervades the business world as well.
  • There are times, however, when you don't want to be self-conscious.
  • The narration is baldly self-conscious in its cleverness.
  • It was a self-conscious attempt to preserve the tradition, but it was well worth doing.
British Dictionary definitions for self-conscious


unduly aware of oneself as the object of the attention of others; embarrassed
conscious of one's existence
Derived Forms
self-consciously, adverb
self-consciousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for self-conscious

1680s, "aware of one's action," a word of the English Enlightenment (Locke was using it by 1690), from self- + conscious. Morbid sense of "preoccupied with one's own personality" is attested from 1834 (in J.S. Mill). Related: Self-consciously; self-consciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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