con·​sen·​su·​al | \ kən-ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)wəl, -shəl, -shü-əl\

Definition of consensual

1 : existing or made by mutual consent without an act of writing a consensual contract
2 : involving or based on mutual consent consensual acts

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Other Words from consensual

consensually adverb

Examples of consensual in a Sentence

She claims their relationship was consensual.

Recent Examples on the Web

The key is to find a video where the slapping isn’t scary or seemingly non-consensual. Gigi Engle, SELF, "Face Slapping 101: What You Need to Know Before Slapping During Sex," 12 Oct. 2018 Fans have been quick to point out some of the more problematic plot points, like when Sierra pretends to be deaf, or that non-consensual kiss. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Design Mistake Is The Most Annoying Part Of Sierra Burgess Is A Loser," 14 Sep. 2018 But the union was consensual, and Scots played a full part in British political life. The Economist, "The siren call of separatism," 12 July 2018 The naked man confirmed to police that interaction was consensual, the TV station reports, but both men are now facing charges of lewdness and indecent exposure. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Pastor was ‘counseling’ the young, naked man tied up in his car, he says," 13 Feb. 2018 Dodd said the incident was consensual, according to Mooney. Lynh Bui, Washington Post, "Former U-Md. basketball player Damonte Dodd appears in court to face rape charge," 12 July 2018 Giesen said his client has texts and emails that show the relationship was consensual, and that police investigated and declined to refer any charges to prosecutors. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawrence University sued over campus sex assault procedures," 13 July 2018 Butler, who had claimed that the encounter with the victim was consensual, was convicted of indecent assault and battery Monday but was acquitted on a rape charge. Danny Mcdonald,, "Former Salem officer sentenced to state prison for indecent assault on man in police custody," 26 June 2018 The Law Offices of Craig M. Greaves posted on its Facebook page in defense of his client stating the encounter was consensual and called out the victim for waiting several months to report it. Jenny Dial Creech, San Antonio Express-News, "Sexual assault case leads to questions of proper punishment at Texas A&M," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consensual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of consensual

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consensual

Latin consensus + English -al

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for consensual

The first known use of consensual was in 1754

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English Language Learners Definition of consensual

: agreed to by the people involved : done with the consent of the people involved


con·​sen·​su·​al | \ kən-ˈsench-(ə-)wəl, -ˈsen-chəl \

Medical Definition of consensual

1 : existing or made by mutual consent consensual sexual behavior
2 : relating to or being the constrictive pupillary response of an eye that is covered when the other eye is exposed to light

Other Words from consensual

consensually \ -​ē \ adverb


con·​sen·​su·​al | \ kən-ˈsen-chə-wəl \

Legal Definition of consensual

1 : existing or made by mutual consent without any further act (as a writing)
2 : involving or based on mutual consent consensual sexual intercourse

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More from Merriam-Webster on consensual

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consensual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consensual

Britannica English: Translation of consensual for Arabic Speakers

Comments on consensual

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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