Subconscious describes something that is just below your awareness, like at a subconscious level hoping your friend's boyfriend breaks up with her — you didn't even realize you felt that way until it happened.

If you are aware of something, you are conscious of it, like being conscious of your tendency to talk too much when you are nervous: you watch for it and try to control it. Most words that start with the prefix sub- are something “under” the root word: something subconscious is under or below your awareness. Maybe in time, it will surface — you might get to the root of why you get so nervous in the first place.

Definitions of subconscious
  1. adjective
    just below the level of consciousness
    not conscious; lacking awareness and the capacity for sensory perception as if asleep or dead
  2. noun
    psychic activity just below the level of awareness
    synonyms: subconscious mind
    see moresee less
    type of:
    brain, head, mind, nous, psyche
    that which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week