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[suhb-kon-shuh s] /sʌbˈkɒn ʃəs/
existing or operating in the mind beneath or beyond consciousness:
the subconscious self.
imperfectly or not wholly conscious:
subconscious motivations.
the totality of mental processes of which the individual is not aware; unreportable mental activities.
Origin of subconscious
1825-35; sub- + conscious
Related forms
subconsciously, adverb
subconsciousness, noun
nonsubconscious, adjective
nonsubconsciously, adverb
nonsubconsciousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for subconsciously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And Lester—subconsciously perhaps—was thinking the same thing.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • subconsciously his busy ego was finding solace after last night's rebuff.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Also, subconsciously, she heard him order liver and bacon, with onions.

    Roast Beef, Medium Edna Ferber
  • And yet subconsciously he knew that all the time he was creating her there had been before him a vision of Jane.

  • It certainly had not afforded her the pleasure she might reasonably have expected, and she subconsciously resented the fact.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for subconsciously


acting or existing without one's awareness: subconscious motive
(psychoanal) that part of the mind which is on the fringe of consciousness and contains material of which it is possible to become aware by redirecting attention Compare preconscious (sense 2), unconscious (sense 5)
Derived Forms
subconsciously, adverb
subconsciousness, 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 subconsciously



1823, "not wholly conscious" (implied in subconsciously), from sub- + conscious. First attested in De Quincey. The noun, in the psychological sense, is attested from 1886; earlier subconsciousness (1874).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subconsciously in Medicine

subconscious sub·con·scious (sŭb-kŏn'shəs)
Not wholly conscious; partially or imperfectly conscious. n.
The part of the mind below the level of conscious perception.

sub·con'scious·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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