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con·​sent kən-ˈsent How to pronounce consent (audio)
consented; consenting; consents

intransitive verb

: to give assent or approval : agree
consent to being tested
She consented to our request.
archaic : to be in concord in opinion or sentiment
consenter noun
consentingly adverb


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: compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another : acquiescence
he shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treatiesU.S. Constitution
: agreement as to action or opinion
specifically : voluntary agreement by a people to organize a civil society and give authority to the government
Choose the Right Synonym for consent

assent, consent, accede, acquiesce, agree, subscribe mean to concur with what has been proposed.

assent implies an act involving the understanding or judgment and applies to propositions or opinions.

voters assented to the proposal

consent involves the will or feelings and indicates compliance with what is requested or desired.

consented to their daughter's going

accede implies a yielding, often under pressure, of assent or consent.

officials acceded to the prisoners' demands

acquiesce implies tacit acceptance or forbearance of opposition.

acquiesced to his boss's wishes

agree sometimes implies previous difference of opinion or attempts at persuasion.

finally agreed to come along

subscribe implies not only consent or assent but hearty approval and active support.

subscribes wholeheartedly to the idea

Examples of consent in a Sentence

Verb He was reluctant at first but finally consented. refused to consent to the marriage Noun He did not give his consent for the use of his name in the advertisement. No one may use the vehicle without the consent of the owner.
Recent Examples on the Web
James was added to a transplant waiting list in February 2023, and on Memorial Day weekend in May a donor was identified: a deceased man in his 30s whose family consented to donate his organs. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 9 Nov. 2023 Her mother consented in court November 3, 1864. CHASE: And the child and her mother were both formerly held as slaves by you. Anna Deavere Smith, The Atlantic, 13 Nov. 2023 In circumstances when the actor has died, the Union or the actors’ estate must also consent. Krystie Yandoli, Rolling Stone, 13 Nov. 2023 On Thursday, Netanyahu consented, allowing daily four-hour breaks in the fighting. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 11 Nov. 2023 The studios, for their part, have proposed new regulations requiring that performers consent to the creation and use of onscreen AI doubles. Brian Contreras, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023 Every Habibi Funk reissue divides its profits 50-50 between the label and the artist (or their living relatives who consented to the release). Time, 3 Oct. 2023 Faucette consented to the procedure after being fully informed of the risks, according to the university. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 31 Oct. 2023 Only one woman consented to making her statement public. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 25 Oct. 2023
Now, the pair represent an array of programmers, artists, and writers, including comedian Sarah Silverman, who allege that generative AI companies are infringing upon their rights by training on their work without their consent. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2023 Lock your photos Don’t allow someone to go snooping through your photos without your consent. Kurt Knutsson, Fox News, 19 Nov. 2023 The amendment approved by voters to the state constitution of Ohio includes a grave and purposeful undermine of parental consent. Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Review, 19 Nov. 2023 With the rise of AI, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the privacy rights of citizens who are not only being recorded, but whose actions will now be evaluated without their consent. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 And if a deceased performer is in need of consent, a representative, heir, or beneficiary can give the all-clear. Krystie Lee Yandoli, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2023 Classical’s old policy said school staff should not disclose information that could reveal a student’s gender identity to others without the student’s consent or unless required by law. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2023 Shaw admitted to touching the breasts and buttocks of four student-athletes without a medical reason and without their consent, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 He was asked if actors could be required to give an AI consent as a condition of employment. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 14 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'consent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English consenten, concenten "to be in agreement, assent (to), approve, comply, connive (in a crime)," borrowed from Anglo-French cunsentir, consentir "to grant, permit, hand over, support, give in, agree" (also continental Old French), going back to Latin consentīre "to join in feeling, be in agreement, concur in opinion, (of things) be in harmony," from con- con- + sentīre "to perceive, feel, discern" — more at sense entry 1


Middle English consent, concent "agreement, approval, connivance," borrowed from Anglo-French consent, cunsent, noun derivative of cunsentir "to grant, permit, consent entry 1"

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of consent was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near consent

Cite this Entry

“Consent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
con·​sent kən-ˈsent How to pronounce consent (audio)
: to express willingness or approval : agree
consenter noun


2 of 2 noun
: approval of what is done or suggested

Legal Definition


: compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another
specifically : the voluntary agreement or acquiescence by a person of age or with requisite mental capacity who is not under duress or coercion and usually who has knowledge or understanding see also age of consent, informed consent, rape, statutory rape
: a defense claiming that the victim consented to an alleged crime (as rape)
: agreement as to action or opinion
shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treatiesU.S. Constitution art. II
a contract is formed by the consent of the partiesLouisiana Civil Code
specifically : voluntary agreement by a people to organize a civil society and give authority to a government
consent intransitive verb
consenter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on consent

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