noun con·se·quence \ ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkwen(t)s , -kwən(t)s \
|Updated on: 11 Aug 2018

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
3 a : 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

Examples of consequence in a Sentence

  1. The slightest error can have serious consequences.

  2. What were the economic consequences of the war?

  3. The decrease in sales was a consequence of some bad publicity about the company.

  4. Some say many jobs will be lost as a consequence of the trade agreement.

  5. He weighed the consequences of making a career change.

  6. The style you choose is of no consequence.

Recent Examples of consequence from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of consequence

Synonym Discussion of 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

CONSEQUENCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of consequence for English Language Learners

  • : something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions

  • : importance or value

CONSEQUENCE Defined for Kids


noun con·se·quence \ ˈkän-sə-ˌkwens \

Definition of consequence for Students

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.

Word Root of consequence

The Latin word sequī, meaning “to follow,” and its form secutus give us the roots sequ and sec. Words from the Latin sequī have something to do with following. Something second follows what came first. A sequel is a book or movie that follows another and continues the story. A sequence is the order in which one thing follows another. A consequence is a result that follows from a condition or action.

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