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scruple

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v scruple have doubts about
    • v scruple raise scruples "He lied and did not even scruple about it"
    • v scruple hesitate on moral grounds "The man scrupled to perjure himself"
    • n scruple an ethical or moral principle that inhibits action
    • n scruple uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    • n scruple a unit of apothecary weight equal to 20 grains
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Scruple A weight of twenty grains; the third part of a dram.
    • Scruple Hence, a very small quantity; a particle. "I will not bate thee a scruple ."
    • Scruple Hesitation as to action from the difficulty of determining what is right or expedient; unwillingness, doubt, or hesitation proceeding from motives of conscience. "He was made miserable by the conflict between his tastes and his scruples ."
    • v. i Scruple To be reluctant or to hesitate, as regards an action, on account of considerations of conscience or expedience. "We are often over-precise, scrupling to say or do those things which lawfully we may.""Men scruple at the lawfulness of a set form of divine worship."
    • Scruple To excite scruples in; to cause to scruple. "Letters which did still scruple many of them."
    • Scruple To regard with suspicion; to hesitate at; to question. "Others long before them . . . scrupled more the books of heretics than of gentiles."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n scruple Perplexity, trouble, or uneasiness of conscience; hesitation or reluctance in acting, arising from inability to satisfy conscience, or from the difficulty of determining what is right or expedient; doubt; backwardness in deciding or acting.
    • scruple To have scruples; be reluctant as regards action or decision; hesitate about doing a thing; doubt; especially, to have conscientious doubts.
    • scruple Synonyms Scruple, Hesitate, Waver. We waver through irresolution, and hesitate through fear, if only the fear of making a mistake. Scruple has tended more and more to limitation to a reluctance produced by doubt as to the right or the propriety of the thing proposed.
    • scruple To have scruples about; doubt; hesitate with regard to; question; especially, to have conscientious doubts concerning: chiefly with an infinitive as object (now the only common use).
    • n scruple A unit of weight, the third part of a dram, being ounce in apothecaries' weight, where alone it is now used by English-speaking people: this is 20 grains (= 1.296 grams). With the ancient Romans a scruple was ounce or pound (= 1.137 grams), and thence of anything duodecimally subdivided, as a jugerum or acre, a heredium or lot of land, a sextarius or measure of capacity. The scruple is denoted now, as anciently, by the character ə.
    • n scruple A small fraction. Specifically— One sixtieth; a minute—the expressions first, second, and third scruple being used for the first, second, and third power of one sixtieth.
    • n scruple Eighteen seconds of time.
    • n scruple One twelfth of an inch; a line.
    • n scruple One tenth of a geometrical inch.
    • n scruple A digit; the twelfth part of the sun's or moon's diameter.
    • n scruple Hence, figuratively
    • n scruple A small part; a little of anything, chiefly in negative phrases: sometimes confused with scruple.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Scruple skrōō′pl a small weight—in apothecaries' weight, 20 troy grains, ⅓ drachm, 1⁄24 ounce, and 1⁄288 of a troy pound: a very small quantity: reluctance to decide or act, as from motives of conscience: difficulty
    • v.i Scruple to hesitate in deciding or acting
    • ***

Quotations

  • Thomas Kempis
    Thomas%20Kempis
    “Scruples, temptations, and fears, and cutting perplexities of the heart, are often the lot of the most excellent persons.”
  • Anatole France
    Anatole%20France
    “When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.”
  • John Dennis
    John Dennis
    “A man who could make so vile a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket.”
  • Alfred Hitchcock
    Alfred Hitchcock
    “There is nothing to winning, really. That is, if you happen to be blessed with a keen eye, an agile mind, and no scruples whatsoever.”
  • Edward Dahlberg
    Edward%20Dahlberg
    “Writing is conscience, scruple, and the farming of our ancestors.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. scrupulus, a small sharp or pointed stone, the twenty-fourth part of an ounce, a scruple, uneasiness, doubt, dim. of scrupus, a rough or sharp stone, anxiety, uneasiness; perh. akin to Gr. the chippings of stone, a razor, Skr. kshura,: cf. F. scrupule,

Usage

In literature:

Injun had no scruples at all.
"Injun and Whitey to the Rescue" by William S. Hart
It is really not a case for little scruples about reputation.
"The Half-Hearted" by John Buchan
You seem to have been troubled with no such scruples.
"A Lost Leader" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
He was upright, honorable, and virtuous; entertaining religious scruples similar to the Friends.
"The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States" by Martin R. Delany
Baroudi was as totally devoid of ordinary scruples as the average well-bred Englishman is full of them.
"Bella Donna" by Robert Hichens
He confided his scruples to Edith.
"The Helpmate" by May Sinclair
I desire to appear to the best advantage before her, and I shall not scruple at the means.
"Clemence" by Retta Babcock
I know what your judgment is worth when you can get rid of those scruples.
"Great Possessions" by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward
Toyner had had many scruples of mind before he took this office.
"The Zeit-Geist" by Lily Dougall
The king, from a religious scruple, had for too long suspended the execution of the decree of reunion.
"History of the Girondists, Volume I" by Alphonse de Lamartine
No such scruples of modesty troubled Mrs. Romer.
"Vera Nevill" by Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron
A scruple is a little sharp stone formerly used as a measure of weight.
"Explanation of Catholic Morals" by John H. Stapleton
Besides, he will have no Time to attend to the Suggestions of his Scruples.
"The Amours of Zeokinizul, King of the Kofirans" by Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon
This Prince of ours rather prided himself on his conscientious scruples.
"King John of Jingalo" by Laurence Housman
I did not come into the world without my scruples and suspicions.
"Arthur Mervyn" by Charles Brockden Brown
As for her daughter, she had no scruple about letting her go with a man who was quite a stranger.
"Madame Flirt" by Charles E. Pearce
Henrietta did not scruple to seize the hand of the embarrassed gentleman.
"The Poor Plutocrats" by Maurus Jókai
He would play his part now without a scruple.
"The Victim" by Thomas Dixon
She had not scrupled to break with him in order to contract a marriage of convenience.
"The Child of Pleasure" by Gabriele D'Annunzio
He brushed scruples aside for the end in view.
"The Mermaid" by Lily Dougall
***

In poetry:

By glamour haloed, leering Lust
So angel-like appears
That Scruple loses her distrust,
And Innocence her fears.
"Prosperity" by Bernard O Dowd
``Then without scruple, pity, or restraint,
Cleave you your conquering way; for there is nought,
Of all that worldlings crave and hirelings paint,
But can be seized or bought.
"Sacred And Profane Love" by Alfred Austin
Good icy arrow, piercing thoroughly!
Most timely came it from their dreams to wrest
The sluggish scruples laid too long to rest,—
And all my Christian blood hymned fervently.
"I've Seen Again The One Child" by Paul Verlaine
I tell thee, then, thy scruples to remove,
As plain as words can point it out — that God
Did not chastise thee out of hate, but love,
When thou wert beaten with affliction's rod.
"A Letter From Sir Lewis Mansel Of Margam, In Glamorganshire, As 'Tis Suppos'd, To The Vicar Prichard" by Rees Prichard
Yet who would forego his all-glorious embrace
At the thought that those glories must sink,
Tho' the dull band of Night will arrest his bright race
Shall we scruple his noontide to drink ?
"Summer" by Laura Sophia Temple
A man renown’d for repartee
Will seldom scruple to make free
With friendship’s finest feeling,
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And say he wounded you in jest,
By way of balm for healing.
"Friendship" by William Cowper

In news:

So avoid conversations about morals and scruples while Mercury is stationary in Scorpio.
Officials' Scruples Fade When Business Calls.
Fewer people living with scruples .
Scruples Boutique factors Internet into success.
Benghazi story emblematic of president without scruples.
"I hope it is not vulgar in me to suggest that you find some way to overcome your scruples".
***