noun, con·sen·sus often attributive \kən-ˈsen(t)-səs\

: a general agreement about something : an idea or opinion that is shared by all the people in a group

Full Definition of CONSENSUS

a :  general agreement :  unanimity <the consensus of their opinion, based on reports … from the border — John Hersey>
b :  the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned <the consensus was to go ahead>
:  group solidarity in sentiment and belief

Usage Discussion of CONSENSUS

The phrase consensus of opinion, which is not actually redundant (see sense 1a; the sense that takes the phrase is slightly older), has been so often claimed to be a redundancy that many writers avoid it. You are safe in using consensus alone when it is clear you mean consensus of opinion, and most writers in fact do so.

Examples of CONSENSUS

  1. Everyone on the council seems to understand the need for consensus.
  2. There is a lack of consensus among the citizens.
  3. The decision was made by consensus.
  4. Yet despite this and other dust-ups during the convention, the general consensus is that Episcopalians weathered this one with their customary civility intact. —Antonio Ramirez, Commonweal, 12 Sept. 1997


Latin, from consentire (see 1consent)
First Known Use: 1843


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