1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Scruple

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SCRUPLE, a term used in the two senses of (1) perplexity, doubt, reluctance or hesitation, especially the moral doubt arising from the difficulties of conscience; (2) a unit of weight, 1/24; part of the ounce in apothecaries' weight, ⅓ of a dram, 20 grains (1.295 grammes). The word is an adaptation of Fr. scrupule, Lat. scrupulus, scrupulum, primarily a small sharp stone, also used in both the English meanings, dim. of scrupus, a rough stone, figuratively uneasiness of mind, probably to be connected with the root skar, to cut, cf. Gr. σκῦρος, stone chippings, ξυρόν, a razor.