consensus

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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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

The French leader has eschewed the consensus-building approach of his predecessors. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Macron Blinks in Fuel-Tax Dispute With Yellow Vests," 4 Dec. 2018 This kind of bureaucratic consensus-building tends to be slow and tedious, which is why entrepreneurial-minded people like Elon Musk hate doing it. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla is outgrowing Elon Musk," 29 Sep. 2018 Usually, presidential summits are preceded by months or years of lower-level consensus building. Evan Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump-Kim summit may be more warm-up act than finale," 11 June 2018 Forget that namby-pamby consensus-building crap that comrade Obama trafficked in; this is how Real Men do diplomacy. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Credibility Problem Is Now America’s," 26 May 2018 Multilateralism, consensus building and sympathy for foreigners in need are necessary — and appear to be in short supply. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "The quiet return of Ebola," 18 May 2018 Some researchers say that female legislators can be more consensus-building then men, but there are also competing studies that suggest Republican women may be more likely to seek out bipartisan support than their Democratic counterparts. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "In Michigan and across U.S., more women running for Congress than ever," 27 Apr. 2018 At least that's the general consensus after Seattle overcame an underwhelming offensive performance to beat the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "What the national media are saying about the Seahawks’ win over the Vikings on #MNF," 11 Dec. 2018 There seems to be consensus that the social network is the organizational platform of choice for the gilets jaunes. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s role in the French protests has polarized observers," 11 Dec. 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

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consensus

The first known use of consensus was in 1843

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More Definitions for consensus

consensus

noun

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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