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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Scruple


SCRU'PLE, noun [Latin 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, verb intransitive To doubt; to hesitate.

He scrupl'd not to eat, against his better knowledge.

SCRU'PLE, verb transitive To doubt; to hesitate to believe; to question; as, to scruple the truth or accuracy of an account or calculation.