con·​se·​quen·​tial | \ ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈkwen(t)-shəl How to pronounce consequential (audio) \

Definition of consequential

1 : of the nature of a secondary result : indirect insurance against consequential loss
2 : consequent oversupply and the consequential plummeting prices
3 : having significant consequences : important a grave and consequential event consequential decisions

Other Words from consequential

consequentiality \ ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˌkwen(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce consequential (audio) \ noun
consequentially \ ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˈkwen(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce consequential (audio) \ adverb
consequentialness \ ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˈkwen(t)-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce consequential (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for consequential


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Consequential dates from the 17th century and can be traced back to the Latin verb consequi, meaning "to follow along." Consequi, in turn, combines the prefix con-, meaning "through" or "with," and sequi, meaning "to follow." The English words sequel, second, and suitor are among the offspring of sequi. Henry Fielding's 1728 comedy Love in Several Masques introduced the meaning of "important" to consequential, which had until that point been used primarily in the context of results. Evidence for this usage declined temporarily in the 19th century, causing its acceptability to be questioned by such commentators as H. W. Fowler; it resurfaced in the 20th century, however, and is now considered standard.

Examples of consequential in a Sentence

There have been several consequential innovations in their computer software. The change to the schedule is not consequential.
Recent Examples on the Web And in races that could be consequential in the general election, national party leaders have openly taken sides, turning some House primaries into proxy battles over the direction of the party. New York Times, 11 May 2022 The earliest mutations did not appear to be consequential. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 2 May 2022 Jury instructions were consequential, expert says Finally, the jury instructions also helped lead to Rittenhouse's acquittal, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates said. Christina Maxouris, CNN, 19 Nov. 2021 Conditions don’t have to be lethal, Hanson notes, to be consequential. Rebecca Giggs, The Atlantic, 9 Nov. 2021 But a lot could change over the next year, and if Biden’s fortunes recover, the outcome of the redistricting fights could be consequential, indeed. Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2021 The economic impact of poor leaf peeping seasons could also be consequential. Patrick Whittle, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 The economic impact of poor leaf peeping seasons could also be consequential. Patrick Whittle, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Sep. 2021 The economic impact of poor leaf peeping seasons could also be consequential. Patrick Whittle,, 30 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consequential.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of consequential

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consequential

see consequent entry 1

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The first known use of consequential was in 1626

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consequential contempt

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consequential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for consequential


con·​se·​quen·​tial | \ ˌkän-si-ˈkwen-chəl How to pronounce consequential (audio) \

Legal Definition of consequential

: of the nature of an indirect or secondary result

More from Merriam-Webster on consequential

Nglish: Translation of consequential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consequential for Arabic Speakers


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