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 consequences of the U.S.’s policy have been, and will be, immediate. Laura Weiss, The New Republic, "Trump’s Deportation Flights Are Inflaming the Pandemic," 14 May 2020 Everyone is at risk of exposure, but the consequences are more serious for some people. Daphne Chen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin is mostly open, but coronavirus risk is still high, experts say. Here's what we've learned about how to protect yourself.," 14 May 2020 For a lot of workers, those consequences have been very apparent for a while. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Coronavirus raises the stakes in new court fight for gig worker benefits," 5 May 2020 Without proper funding to offset major financial losses during the pandemic, the consequences to major hospitals could be dire. NBC News, "Hospitals are losing millions as doctors are forced to fight COVID-19 and conspiracy theorists," 3 May 2020 The consequences of the Covid-19 lockdown are yet to be fully determined and understood. Aroop Chatterjee, Quartz Africa, "South Africa needs a wealth tax to help stop coronavirus worsening inequality," 30 Apr. 2020 But the economic consequences for health care in Ohio have been swift and devastating. Anne Saker,, "Coronavirus in Ohio: Pay cuts for doctors at UC Health, execs at Cincinnati Children's," 29 Apr. 2020 Unsurprisingly, societies and economies are complex enough that the consequences of economic crashes are complicated, messy, and context-dependent. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "How does economic collapse alter the mortality rate?," 28 Apr. 2020 The consequences of our latest striking gestures are just as predictable. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "The Striking Gesture," 27 Apr. 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

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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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