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 The consequence is a kind of upstate gold rush, with property owners cashing in. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "The Pandemic Sparks a Real-Estate Gold Rush in Upstate New York," 9 Oct. 2020 The reverse and unintended consequence of the messaging that only older people and people with underlying conditions are at risk of bad outcomes from Covid-19 is blasé attitude among younger people that nothing will happen to them. Patrick Skerrett, STAT, "The ‘irony of the day’: Covid-19 at the White House is a simple matter of workplace transmission," 5 Oct. 2020 The consequence of all this is that blood for transfusion can now be screened routinely for hep C, and drugs to treat it have now been developed. The Economist, "Screen savers The Nobel prize for medicine goes for identifying hepatitis C," 5 Oct. 2020 The painful consequence of that will be a clunky, suboptimal transposition of the physical to the virtual, right down—one fears—to an awkward videoconference cocktail hour. Jonathan Becker, Fortune, "Can the corporate ‘offsite’ survive COVID?," 24 Sep. 2020 The most common negative consequence is likely to be people calling their doctors too often because of false low readings. Washington Post, "The new Apple Watch says my lungs may be sick. Or perfect. It can’t decide.," 23 Sep. 2020 One consequence of the impasse is that a group of council members have come together to fill the void. Eric Johnson, Dallas News, "Dallas mayor says council is cutting “backroom" budget deals. But some say he quit communicating," 19 Sep. 2020 Now, Walz said maybe Minnesota flattened the curve after all — with one consequence being the prolonged pain of modest case growth. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Gov. Tim Walz lays out benchmarks for ending COVID-19 emergency in Minnesota," 17 Sep. 2020 One consequence is that rising stress and anxiety are evident at therapists' offices and mental health hotlines around the country. Arkansas Online, "U.S. unemployment rate falls to 8.4% even as hiring slows," 4 Sep. 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

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 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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