con·​se·​quen·​tial | \ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈkwen(t)-shəl \

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 \ noun
consequentially \ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˈkwen(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē \ adverb
consequentialness \ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˈkwen(t)-​shəl-​nəs \ 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

That means a typical player’s second NBA contract is dramatically more consequential to his career than his first contract. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "For Charlotte Hornets, would drafting Alabama's Collin Sexton be Kemba Walker 2.0?," 14 June 2018 Perhaps nowhere are the accountability changes more consequential than in the Houston Independent School District, where 10 of the district’s more than 280 schools are at risk of triggering a state takeover of the district. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "TEA details how it will calculate A-F letter grades," 10 Apr. 2018 Overshadowed perhaps by the higher-profile statewide elections, Democratic gains in state legislatures could prove deeply consequential. Steve Peoples, The Seattle Times, "More races go to Democrats, including Senate seat in Ariz.," 13 Nov. 2018 Navigate on Autopilot is a subtle improvement, but still feels incredibly consequential. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot is like Waze on steroids," 6 Nov. 2018 White women may at last start to leave the Republican Party in consequential numbers, recognizing that proximity to power (their husbands, their fathers) is not the same as genuine equality. Liz Plank, Glamour, "Why Are Men Still Voting Republican?," 31 Oct. 2018 Performance aside, this is the most consequential change for the power users Apple is trying to woo here. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "2018 iPad Pro hands-on: Improving on the world’s best tablet," 30 Oct. 2018 To some degree, the threats Ford is receiving now are a grisly reminder of how consequential her testimony actually was. Anna North, Vox, "Christine Blasey Ford has a security detail because she still receives threats," 8 Nov. 2018 In a regional park on the edge of the small central Mississippi town of Clinton, across from a field full of Saturday morning kids’ soccer games and through a hole in a fence, lies one of the most consequential scale models ever built. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 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

18 Dec 2018

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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 \

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 knickknack or trinket

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