con·​sec·​u·​tive kən-ˈse-kyə-tiv How to pronounce consecutive (audio)
: following one after the other in order : successive
served four consecutive terms in office
consecutiveness noun

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Concurrent and Consecutive

Consecutive has a good deal in common with the complementary word concurrent. Besides the fact that both begin with the prefix con- (meaning “with, together”), each word deals with the time-order in which several things happen. Concurrent describes things that are occurring, or people who are doing something, at the same time, such as “concurrent users” of a computer program. Consecutive refers to things that are arranged or happen in a sequential order. A criminal who serves a consecutive sentence does time for one conviction after another. If that person gets a concurrent sentence, he or she undergoes all punishments at the same time.

Examples of consecutive in a Sentence

the team's winning streak has lasted for seven consecutive games
Recent Examples on the Web The bank left its main rate at 5.25%, pausing after 14 consecutive rate hikes. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 21 Sep. 2023 In 2024, the most likely scenario is that Donald Trump will be on the ballot yet again as the first person since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to serve as a major party nominee in three consecutive presidential elections. Ben Jacobs, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2023 The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that shutdown decreased economic output by about $3 billion, despite particularly severe effects for federal workers who missed consecutive paychecks as well as federal contractors who never get backpay. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 Pass two consecutive arms of your cross through the metal ring. Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science, 20 Sep. 2023 Inflation has ticked up for two consecutive months, reversing some of the progress made in the effort to bring price increases down to normal levels. Max Zahn, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 Following a discouraging 27-24 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, the Chargers have started the season with two consecutive losses. oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 Fiscal 2023 is the second consecutive fiscal year in the past 13 fiscal years that Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships were awarded to fewer than 30,000 students. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, 17 Sep. 2023 Barnstable continues to impress, and Andover enters the poll after consecutive 40-point performances. Nate Weitzer,, 17 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'consecutive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French consecutif "following one after the other," borrowed from Medieval Latin consecūtīvus "following as a result or effect," from Latin consecūtus, past participle of consequī "to come after, succeed in time, follow as a necessary consequence" + -īvus -ive — more at consequent entry 2

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of consecutive was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near consecutive

Cite this Entry

“Consecutive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​sec·​u·​tive kən-ˈsek-(y)ət-iv How to pronounce consecutive (audio)
: following one after the other in order
consecutively adverb

from French consécutif "following in a series, consecutive," from Latin consecutus, past participle of consequi "to follow," from con, com- "with, together" and sequi "to follow" — related to sequel

Legal Definition


: following one after the other in order
consecutively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on consecutive

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