SCRU'PLE, n. [L. scrupulus, a doubt; scrupulum, the third part of a dram, from scrupus, a chess-man; probably a piece, a small thing, from scrapping, like scrap.] 1. Doubt; hesitation from the difficulty of determining what is right or expedient; backwardness; reluctance to decide or to act. A man of fashionable honor makes no scruple to take another's life, or expose his own. He has no scruples of conscience, or he despises them. 2. A weight of twenty grains, the third part of a dram; among goldsmiths, the weight of 24 grains. 3. Proverbially, a very small quantity. 4. In Chaldean chronology, the 1/1080 part of an hour; a division of time used by the Jews, Arabs, etc.. Scruple of half duration, an arch of the moon's orbit, which the moon's center describes from the beginning of an eclipse to the middle. Scruples of immersion or incidence, an arch of the moon's orbit, which her center describes from the beginning of the eclipse to the time when its center falls into the shadow. Scruples of emersion, an arch of the moon's orbit, which her center describes in the time from the first emersion of the moon's limb to the end of the eclipse. SCRU'PLE, v.i. To doubt; to hesitate. He scrupl'd not to eat, against his better knowledge. SCRU'PLE, v.t. To doubt; to hesitate to believe; to question; as, to scruple the truth or accuracy of an account or calculation.
n 1: a unit of apothecary weight equal to 20 grains 2: uneasiness about the fitness of an action [syn: scruple, qualm, misgiving] 3: an ethical or moral principle that inhibits action v 1: hesitate on moral grounds; "The man scrupled to perjure himself" 2: raise scruples; "He lied and did not even scruple about it" 3: have doubts about
I. nounEtymology: Middle English scrupil, scriple, from Anglo-French scruple, from Latin scrupulus a unit of weight, diminutive of scrupus sharp stone Date: 14th century 1. — see weight table 2. a minute part or quantity ;iotaII. nounEtymology: Middle English scripil, scrupill, from Anglo-French scruble, from Latin scrupulus, diminutive of scrupus source of uneasiness, literally, sharp stone Date: 15th century 1. an ethical consideration or principle that inhibits action 2. the quality or state of being scrupulous 3. mental reservation Synonyms:seequalmIII. intransitive verb (scrupled; scrupling) Date: 1627 1. to have scruples 2. to show reluctance on grounds of conscience ;hesitate
n. & v. --n. 1 (in sing. or pl.) a regard to the morality or propriety of an action. b a feeling of doubt or hesitation caused by this. 2 Brit. hist. an apothecaries' weight of 20 grains. 3 archaic a very small quantity. --v.intr. 1 (foll. by to + infin.; usu. with neg.) be reluctant because of scruples (did not scruple to stop their allowance). 2 feel or be influenced by scruples. Etymology: F scrupule or L scrupulus f. scrupus rough pebble, anxiety
Scruple Scru"ple, v. t. 1. To regard with suspicion; to hesitate at; to question. Others long before them . . . scrupled more the books of hereties than of gentiles. --Milton. 2. To excite scruples in; to cause to scruple. [R.] Letters which did still scruple many of them. --E. Symmons.
Scruple Scru"ple, n. [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.] 1. A weight of twenty grains; the third part of a dram. 2. Hence, a very small quantity; a particle. I will not bate thee a scruple. --Shak. 3. 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. --Macaulay. To make scruple, to hesitate from conscientious motives; to scruple. --Locke.
Scruple Scru"ple, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Scrupled; p. pr. & vb. n. Skrupling.] 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. --Fuller. Men scruple at the lawfulness of a set form of divine worship. --South.