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

So, what will those that hate consensual taxation do? Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: Cowboy up and repeal of Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights," 28 June 2019 Raniere did not testify in the case, and his defense attorney did not call any witnesses, but his attorney has argued that his relationships with Nxivm followers were consensual. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Jury to begin deliberations in trial of alleged Nxivm sex cult leader," 19 June 2019 Fairfax has denied the allegations, and said the encounters were consensual. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Va. Republicans call for hearings on Lt. Gov. Fairfax during July 9 gun session," 18 June 2019 Whisenhunt's defense was that what transpired between him and the female cadet was consensual. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "A West Point cadet was sentenced to 21 years in prison for raping a sleeping classmate. Now, he's free to return to school.," 6 June 2019 Talking about the hitchhiker, known in court only as Jane Doe 1, Carlos acknowledged that Winslow’s DNA was found in her pants, but said the act that put it there was consensual. Nelvin C. Cepeda/the San Diego Union-tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Deliberations begin in Kellen Winslow II rape case," 5 June 2019 While there are no national statistics on consensual non-monogamy, anecdotal evidence suggests it’s a growing trend. Alex Kuczynski, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside the Rise of Polyamory Relationships," 30 Apr. 2019 Kisses and hugs have to be consensual with BOTH parties. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "The Beyhive Had a Lot of Feelings About Omari Hardwick Kissing Beyonce," 1 Apr. 2019 The night before, what started as a consensual experience had turned forceful. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Amandla Stenberg Just Powerfully Opened Up About Her Own Sexual Assault," 6 Oct. 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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Statistics for consensual

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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).


something desired as essential

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