con·​sen·​su·​al | \ kən-ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)wəl How to pronounce consensual (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from consensual

consensually adverb

Examples of consensual in a Sentence

She claims their relationship was consensual.

Recent Examples on the Web

And when an encounter is not consensual, what's the best path to accountability and healing? Isobel Yeung, Glamour, "For Some Sexual Assault Survivors, Justice Looks Like a Sit-Down With Their Assailant," 16 Oct. 2018 The victim has to be able to have specific proof that this was not consensual., "Has Hollywood Changed Since Gladiator? Connie Nielsen Doesn't Think So," 8 June 2018 In the United States, women appear to be the leaders of the polyamory movement, and many therapists and other experts report women are often the ones making the suggestion to open up their marriages or explore consensual non-monogamy, experts say. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "The "Wonderful Weirdness" of Female Sexuality," 23 Oct. 2018 The Uber spokeswoman would not answer Ars’ question as to whether the company felt that non-consensual livestreaming was allowed. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Uber, Lyft driver booted after newspaper reveals he was livestreaming passengers," 22 July 2018 The founders wanted to ensure that laws would command broad consensual approval: two powerful houses of Congress and the president had to agree on them, the Supreme Court had to underwrite their constitutionality. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 Krzanich was not accused of any non-consensual actions by Intel. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Intel CEO Resigns After 'Consensual Relationship' With Employee," 21 June 2018 The victim said part of the encounter was consensual but not all of it. Jenny Dial Creech, Houston Chronicle, "Texas A&M's handling of sexual assault case questioned," 13 June 2018 More red flags were raised when cops looked at texts between Perkins and her ex that looked consensual and amicable. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "She said her ex-boyfriend abducted her from Walmart. The story had holes, cops say | Miami Herald," 16 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of consensual

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consensual

Latin consensus + English -al

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about consensual

Statistics for consensual

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consensual

The first known use of consensual was in 1754

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for consensual



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 How to pronounce consensual (audio) \

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 How to pronounce consensually (audio) \ adverb


con·​sen·​su·​al | \ kən-ˈsen-chə-wəl How to pronounce consensual (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up consensual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!