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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web One 2011 study by a team of modelers in Europe and the US said that H1N1 travel bans reduced air travel to and from Mexico by 40 percent—with huge economic consequences—but didn’t slow the disease’s spread at all. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Travel Bans and Quarantines Won't Stop Coronavirus," 6 Feb. 2020 However, beginning in 2010, in an effort to increase profits, Grande eliminated its termination policy and chose instead to allow its subscribers to infringe copyrights freely with no consequences. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Record labels want to ask potential jurors: Do you read Ars Technica?," 3 Feb. 2020 After all, scientists have increasingly determined that even relatively low levels of warming - 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius - come with intolerable consequences. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "We may avoid the very worst climate scenario. But the next-worst is still pretty awful.," 31 Jan. 2020 Since 2010, illicit use has increased, with deadly consequences for humans. National Geographic, "Dogs, the other victims of the opioid crisis," 29 Jan. 2020 Lipolelo’s murder is not the first with political consequences in recent years. The Economist, "Murder in the mountains One first lady is dead in Lesotho. Another has fled," 23 Jan. 2020 Jones and Johnson have come to terms with the consequences of their actions back in March 1994. David Moore, Dallas News, "Cowboys legend Jimmy Johnson overcome with emotion after learning he will be inducted into Hall of Fame," 13 Jan. 2020 But killing a military leader in a foreign nation, and one the United States is not at war with, sets a bad precedent with possibly dangerous consequences. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The legality of targeting Soleimani depends on these questions," 9 Jan. 2020 But Veryat is less concerned with the consequences of Michelin’s decision than with the process behind it. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "The secret to creative success is to stop caring about recognition," 8 Jan. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for consequence

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for consequence

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for consequence


How to pronounce consequence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of consequence

: something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions
formal : importance or value


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.

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