Pronunciation: (kon'shus-nis), [key]
1. the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
2. the thoughts and feelings, collectively, of an individual or of an aggregate of people: the moral consciousness of a nation.
3. full activity of the mind and senses, as in waking life: to regain consciousness after fainting.
4. awareness of something for what it is; internal knowledge: consciousness of wrongdoing.
5. concern, interest, or acute awareness: class consciousness.
6. the mental activity of which a person is aware as contrasted with unconscious mental processes.
7. Philos.the mind or the mental faculties as characterized by thought, feelings, and volition.
8. raise one's consciousness, to increase one's awareness and understanding of one's own needs, behavior, attitudes, etc., esp. as a member of a particular social or political group.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.