noun, often attributive
con·sen·sus | \ kən-ˈsen(t)-səs \

Definition of consensus 

1a : general agreement : unanimity the consensus of their opinion, based on reports … from the border —John Hersey

b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned the consensus was to go ahead

2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief

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Synonyms & Antonyms for consensus


accord, agreement, concurrence, concurrency, unanimity, unison


conflict, disagreement

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Is the phrase consensus of opinion redundant?: Usage Guide

The phrase consensus of opinion, which is not actually redundant (see sense 1a; the sense that takes the phrase is slightly older), has been so often claimed to be a redundancy that many writers avoid it. You are safe in using consensus alone when it is clear you mean consensus of opinion, and most writers in fact do so.

Examples of consensus in a Sentence

Yet despite this and other dust-ups during the convention, the general consensus is that Episcopalians weathered this one with their customary civility intact. —Antonio Ramirez, Commonweal, 12 Sept. 1997 Despite years of debate over the best wine to serve at Thanksgiving, no real consensus has emerged. —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 30 Nov. 1995 Beyond the general goal of sustainability, there was little consensus at the conference on how to get from here to there. —Constance Holden, Science, 6 July 1990 … it is the consensus of opinion that the Iceni in their geographic isolation remained 'Celtic' … —Antonia Fraser, The Warrior Queens, 1988 Everyone on the council seems to understand the need for consensus. There is a lack of consensus among the citizens. The decision was made by consensus.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Rozier was a consensus first-team All-American for Denny Crum's 1993-94 Cardinals, averaging 18.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Per family, former Louisville basketball star Clifford Rozier dies," 6 July 2018 Graham, a consensus first-team All-American at KU last season selected No. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Former KU guard Devonté Graham signs contract, produces in first game for Hornets," 6 July 2018 While no consensus was reached, members acknowledged the unique value proposition of the industry, and pledged to publish a formal proposal by July. Zhuling Chen, Fortune, "How Should We Regulate Blockchain? It Depends on Which Country You Ask," 25 June 2018 Rasmus Dahlin is the consensus to go first overall, and Andrei Svechnikov, second. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "NHL mock draft 2.0: Projecting Detroit Red Wings first-round picks," 21 June 2018 But Trump also faces growing opposition from his own party and bipartisan consensus has been building put a stop to the practice, though there is no clear legislative path forward. NBC News, "Trump again tries blaming Democrats as outcry over his family separation policy grows," 19 June 2018 The leading theologians of this consensus-supporting civil religion were Will Herberg and Reinhold Niebuhr. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "David Brooks needs a name for his new religion.," 13 June 2018 The Freedom Caucus met Tuesday night but multiple members said no consensus was reached. Tal Kopan And Lauren Fox, CNN, "House GOP immigration negotiations continue ahead of key Thursday meeting," 6 June 2018 Madrigal is consensus top 5 pick, while Larnach is pegged as a mid-to-late first-round selection., "MLB mock drafts 2018: Oregon State Beavers' Nick Madrigal, Trevor Larnach pegged as 1st-round picks," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consensus.' 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 consensus

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for consensus

Latin, from consentire — see consent entry 1

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Statistics for consensus

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consensus

The first known use of consensus was in 1843

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English Language Learners Definition of consensus

: a general agreement about something : an idea or opinion that is shared by all the people in a group

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Comments on consensus

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