Definition of "scruple" [scru•ple]

  • An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action. See Synonyms at qualm. (noun)
  • A unit of apothecary weight equal to about 1.3 grams, or 20 grains. (noun)
  • A minute part or amount. (noun)
  • To hesitate as a result of conscience or principle: "A man who could make so vile a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket” ( John Dennis). (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "scruple" in a sentence
  • "It's interesting to note that the term "scruple" had at least three different definitions—and not all were for weight."
  • "This absurd scruple is expressed almost in the same words by the continuator of"
  • "Probole, or Prolatio, which the most orthodox divines borrowed without scruple from the Valentinians, and illustrated by the comparisons of a fountain and stream, the sun and its rays,"