consequence

noun
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 worldliness is, of course, a matter of historical fact, a consequence of experience. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 These findings highlight the consequences of orienting U.S. housing policy to favor homeownership and champion the single-family home as an instrument of wealth creation and family stability. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Homes owned by black Americans undervalued by billions, says report," 27 Nov. 2018 For insights into the role of global trade, and the consequences of trade disruptions, the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board sought out Alan Wm. Michael Joe Murphy, OrlandoSentinel.com, "World trade — what everyone needs to know," 11 July 2018 For instance, scientists can now exchange oryx sperm overseas to avoid the consequences of inbreeding within zoo populations, and employ the option of preemptively inseminating females before their release into the wild. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 Based on the trailer for the upcoming Part 2, Sabrina will be leaning into her wild side (and her flirtation with Nick Scratch) even more—with more unintended consequences likely to fall as a result. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018 Sustained, system-wide damage to the ecosystems of National Parks could have serious economic consequences as well. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Climate change will strike U.S. National Parks hardest and fastest, says study," 24 Sep. 2018 From time to time, when the bayou was low, especially daring Houstonians would go on foraging missions that sometimes had deadly consequences. Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle, "Expansive exhibit highlights Houston’s quiet but vital role during Civil War," 11 July 2018 What are the lines of authority, and what are the consequences for breaking the rules? Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Bill Barr’s Hot Mess," 14 Feb. 2019

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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Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for consequence

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

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More Definitions for consequence

consequence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of consequence

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

consequence

noun
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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