Having scruples is kind of like having a conscience: your morals or scruples cause you to act in ways you think are right.

The idea of scruples has to do with ethics and morality: what is right and wrong. If you had no scruples at all, you'd just kill, steal, cheat, and do God knows what else. Scruples are a kind of moral compass that lets you know what's right. Often people use this word in an outraged way when someone does something bad: "Don't you have any scruples?" Liars, thieves, criminals, and politicians have fewer scruples than the rest of us.

Definitions of scruples
  1. noun
    motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person's thoughts and actions
    synonyms: conscience, moral sense, sense of right and wrong
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    (psychoanalysis) that part of the unconscious mind that acts as a conscience
    small voice, voice of conscience, wee small voice
    an inner voice that judges your behavior
    sense of duty, sense of shame
    a motivating awareness of ethical responsibility
    type of:
    ethical motive, ethics, morality, morals
    motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
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