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

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Other Words from consequential

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

Synonyms for consequential


attendant, consequent, due (to), resultant

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Did You Know?

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

The enactment of such laws is beyond consequential in a country where domestic work has historically and systematically been excluded from protection under labor laws, both at the state and federal level. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "Domestic Workers Like My Mom Deserve Protection and Security," 26 Mar. 2019 What matters here is that, once again, Trump has made a consequential decision with little to no coordination with the rest of his administration. Alex Ward, Vox, "No one knows what’s happening with Trump’s Syria decision," 20 Dec. 2018 As ever with the Chinese space program, however, the most consequential decisions and planning occur out of the public view, so definitive answers are few. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "China appears to be accelerating development of a super-heavy lift rocket," 19 Sep. 2018 But supply outages from Iran have so far proved less consequential than feared, in part because the Trump administration decided to grant temporary waivers to the world’s main buyers of Iranian crude. Christopher Alessi, WSJ, "Banks Reverse Course to Lower Oil-Price Projections," 30 Nov. 2018 Last week, the Trump administration unveiled one of its most consequential environmental rollbacks yet, a plan to let cars pollute more while stripping California of its right to set its own air-quality rules. Hiroko Tabuchi, The Seattle Times, "California strikes back against the Trump administration’s auto-pollution rollback," 7 Aug. 2018 The real fear is manifest in a mounting sense that this is a mere skirmish in a more consequential struggle for the world over the next decade. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "From Covington Catholic to an Uneasy Davos," 25 Jan. 2019 The latest emissions data comes as the world’s scientists have called the global climate problem more urgent than previously thought – making the United States’ emissions trends and its path to withdraw from the Paris agreement more consequential. Chris Mooney, The Seattle Times, "U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 – and it couldn’t happen at a worse time," 9 Jan. 2019 Since 2015, Russia has shown itself to be a more consequential actor in Syria than the pacifist EU. Michael Kimmage, New Republic, "What Happened to the European Union?," 8 Jan. 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

8 May 2019

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The first known use of consequential was in 1626

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English Language Learners Definition of consequential

: happening as a result


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

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Comments on consequential

What made you want to look up consequential? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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