ETYM Latin 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: cf. French scrupule.
1. A unit of apothecary weight equal to 20 grains.
2. An ethical or moral principle that inhibits action.
3. Uneasiness about the fitness of an action; SYN. qualm, misgiving.
Unit of weight used by apothecaries equal to 1/24 of an ounce.
In theology, the fear of sin when none has been committed. Generally, scruples are thoughts characterized by uncertainty or hesitation in relation to right and wrong moral conduct. Scruples may be condemned as indecision; the classic case is that of Hamlet.