consensus

noun, often attributive
con·​sen·​sus | \ kən-ˈsen(t)-səs How to pronounce consensus (audio) \

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

With regulations varying from city to city and cultural mores about age dependent on the location, a global consensus still feels far off. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "In Europe, the Model Age Debate Rages On," 12 Apr. 2019 But even as the drills become routine for many of the nation’s 51 million elementary and secondary public school students, there is no consensus on how they should be conducted, experts said. Carolyn Thompson, The Seattle Times, "Parents question whether shooting drills traumatize schoolkids," 11 Feb. 2019 Legislators in both chambers still have no consensus on what to do with Mr. Cuomo’s proposal to raise funds for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with congestion pricing—where vehicles are charged a toll to enter the core of Manhattan. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "New York Senate, Assembly to Lay Out Their Visions for State Budget," 10 Mar. 2019 The overall medical consensus is that this is an important and nuanced topic that requires much more investigation, as many of the results so far have been inconsistent. Korin Miller, SELF, "What to Know About Getting Pregnant If You Take Antipsychotics," 17 Jan. 2019 That’s remarkable, to go an entire decade and never have a year where there wasn’t a consensus pick. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "The Computer Poll Uprising: Creators of the BCS's Most Controversial Component Look Back," 11 July 2018 Trump is to arrive in Brussels on Tuesday, the eve of the NATO meeting, at which US presidents are normally viewed as pivotal leaders and consensus builders. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump poised to enter NATO meeting as wild card among allies," 9 July 2018 At this point, the general medical consensus is that endometriosis happens when the tissue that lines your uterus (endometrium) begins to grow on other organs. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s When to See a Doctor About Period Clots," 1 Mar. 2019 The general consensus was that the drought led vineyards to pump more well water. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath," 10 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

16 Apr 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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