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

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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 In a statement to USA TODAY, D'Elia, who is divorced with one child, said that all of his relationships have been legal and consensual. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Whitney Cummings reacts to sexual abuse allegations against former co-star Chris D'Elia," 21 June 2020 In a statement to USA TODAY, D'Elia responded to the accusations, saying that all of his relationships have been legal and consensual. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Netflix comedian, 'You' actor Chris D'Elia denies sexual misconduct allegations," 18 June 2020 While Lauer maintains the relationship was consensual, his accuser, Brooke Nevils, later told Farrow that Lauer raped her. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Matt Lauer writes op-ed responding to allegations in Ronan Farrow's book," 20 May 2020 Police declined to charge Mr. Alvarez, who said the encounter was consensual. ... Kate King, WSJ, "Former New Jersey Governor Campaign Volunteer Settles Assault Lawsuit for $1 Million," 15 May 2020 Giacomini said the relationship was consensual, but the investigator disagreed, according to the memo. Bob Egelko,, "Ex-VA heart doctor in Palo Alto charged with sexually abusing a subordinate," 15 May 2020 The ability to conduct this kind of monitoring raises obvious privacy concerns, and the researchers only suggest their technology should be used for consensual health care applications. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "Footstep Sensors Identify People by Gait," 30 Apr. 2020 The officer then initiated a consensual stop of the three men. cleveland, "Officer stops three weapon-toting men walking to a store: Cleveland Heights Police Blotter," 10 Apr. 2020 In fiction about passing, interracial union has already happened, whether consensual or forced. Darryl Pinckney, The New York Review of Books, "Escaping Blackness," 10 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for consensual

Time Traveler

The first known use of consensual was in 1754

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Statistics for consensual

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consensual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for consensual


How to pronounce consensual (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on consensual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consensual

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consensual

Britannica English: Translation of consensual for Arabic Speakers

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