con·​se·​quence | \ ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkwen(t)s How to pronounce consequence (audio) , -kwən(t)s \

Definition of consequence

1 : a conclusion derived through logic : inference … we can deduce … many consequences each of which can be tested by experiment.— James Bryant Conant
2 : something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions the economic consequences of the war This refined taste is the consequence of education and habit.— Joshua Reynolds
3a : importance with respect to power to produce an effect a mistake of no consequence a problem of grave international consequence
b : social importance a person of some consequence
4 : the appearance of importance especially : self-importance You will find his consequence very just and reasonable when you see him in his family. … He has a fine dignified manner, which suits the head of such a house … — Jane Austen
in consequence
: as a result

Choose the Right Synonym for consequence

importance, consequence, moment, weight, significance mean a quality or aspect having great worth or significance. importance implies a value judgment of the superior worth or influence of something or someone. a region with no cities of importance consequence generally implies importance because of probable or possible effects. the style you choose is of little consequence moment implies conspicuous or self-evident consequence. a decision of great moment weight implies a judgment of the immediate relative importance of something. the argument carried no weight with the judge significance implies a quality or character that should mark a thing as important but that is not self-evident and may or may not be recognized. the treaty's significance

Examples of consequence in a Sentence

The slightest error can have serious consequences. What were the economic consequences of the war? The decrease in sales was a consequence of some bad publicity about the company. Some say many jobs will be lost as a consequence of the trade agreement. He weighed the consequences of making a career change. The style you choose is of no consequence. See More
Recent Examples on the Web High-water events have become even more common in recent years because of longer periods of more intense precipitation, a consequence of climate change, and because of shifts in the river’s hydrology. New York Times, 6 May 2022 And in our government recently, during locked down, there was a party that happened, that the government were attending when no one else was allowed to leave their homes, and there is there is really no consequence to that behavior. Michael Schneider, Variety, 5 May 2022 The reduction also occurs amid rising interest rates on U.S. Treasury notes, a consequence of inflation running at a 40-year peak and the Federal Reserve's efforts to reduce price pressures. CBS News, 5 May 2022 Not metaphorically or politically, though the latter will surely be one consequence. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 California-San Diego Prof. Wayne Cornelius concluded immigrant deaths are not an unintended consequence but a direct result of Border Patrol policies that started in the early 1990s and have continued to the present day. Stuart Anderson, Forbes, 4 May 2022 The reduction also occurs amid rising interest rates on U.S. Treasury notes, a consequence of inflation running at a 40-year peak and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to reduce price pressures. Josh Boak And Fatima Hussein, Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2022 The first loss only adds consequence to Thursday’s Game 2. Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel, 4 May 2022 Green framed the weak guidance as an inevitable consequence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which depressed ridership and caused drivers to sign off in late 2021 and early 2022. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 4 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consequence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of consequence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consequence

see consequent entry 1

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The first known use of consequence was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for consequence


con·​se·​quence | \ ˈkän-sə-ˌkwens How to pronounce consequence (audio) \

Kids Definition of consequence

1 : something produced by a cause or following from a condition Her fear of stairs is a consequence of her fall.
2 : real importance His promotion is of no consequence to me.

More from Merriam-Webster on consequence

Nglish: Translation of consequence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consequence for Arabic Speakers


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