noun, often attributive con·sen·sus \ kən-ˈsen(t)-səs \
Updated on: 20 Feb 2018

Definition of consensus

1 a : 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

Is the phrase consensus of opinion redundant?

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

  1. 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 RamirezCommonweal12 Sept. 1997
  2. Despite years of debate over the best wine to serve at Thanksgiving, no real consensus has emerged. —Harvey SteimanWine Spectator30 Nov. 1995
  3. Beyond the general goal of sustainability, there was little consensus at the conference on how to get from here to there. —Constance HoldenScience6 July 1990
  4. … it is the consensus of opinion that the Iceni in their geographic isolation remained 'Celtic' … —Antonia FraserThe Warrior Queens1988
  5. Everyone on the council seems to understand the need for consensus.

  6. There is a lack of consensus among the citizens.

  7. The decision was made by consensus.

Recent Examples of consensus from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of consensus

Latin, from consentire — see 1consent

CONSENSUS Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of consensus for English Language Learners

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

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