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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
Menchaca’s intention as host was to put a spin on casual dating, where women could be empowered and both parties could consent. Allison Argueta-Claros, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2023 The move came three weeks after the 46-year-old, who is facing criminal charges in Spain, defiantly rejected calls to step aside, insisting that the player had consented to the kiss. Laura Millan Lombrana, Fortune, 10 Sep. 2023 Sometimes consent from one person on the call is enough. Simon Hill, WIRED, 25 Aug. 2023 Moreover, if your child is old enough to consent or asks you to do it, that’s a different conversation. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 23 Aug. 2023 Fishman said the guardian issue was waived because Oher was 18 and his mother consented. Adrian Sainz, Fortune, 18 Aug. 2023 New York is a one-party consent state, meaning that one party must consent to the recording of a conversation. Jill Terreri Ramos, New York Times, 26 Aug. 2023 The researchers also included participants who had consented to having their DNA used for research by the genetic testing company 23andMe. Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, 25 Aug. 2023 And on that visit in 1961, when the artist asked for paintings to change walls, the guards consented, but the following day collection founder Duncan Phillips came into work and switched them back straight away. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, 24 Aug. 2023
In 2022, the Smithsonian, which includes 21 museums and the National Zoo, adopted a policy that formally authorized all of its museums to return items or remains in its collections that were collected without consent. Nicole Dungca and Claire Healy, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2023 Tucker had his players sign Tracy's pledge, an agreement to be accountable in areas of consent and repercussions for violent actions. Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 10 Sep. 2023 Copyright owners have been on edge about their content being scraped without their consent, and the existence of Books3 confirms those fears. Theara Coleman, The Week, 8 Sep. 2023 That means Meta can't mix together a user's data from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp services without clear consent. Kelvin Chan,, 6 Sep. 2023 But the upper chamber also has a unique culture of independence; individual senators have significant power, for instance in the capability to block unanimous consent to consider a measure. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 6 Sep. 2023 The order was requested by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and granted with the consent of defense counsel. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Sep. 2023 That might be because the EU has an actual strong privacy law in the General Data Protection Regulation, which doesn’t allow such sensitive data to be gathered without the individual’s explicit consent. David Meyer, Fortune, 6 Sep. 2023 Provides a structure to keep it away from people under 21 without a doctor’s consent. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 29 Aug. 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 30 Sep. 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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