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

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 presidential election isn’t the only choice facing voters: The battle for control of Taiwan’s top lawmaking body could end up being more consequential in Saturday’s elections. Samson Ellis,, "Tsai Looks Set for Landslide Win in Taiwan Presidential Vote," 12 May 2020 Just as the first phase of the coronavirus struggle has been consequential for lives and livelihoods, the next phase of lifting shutdowns will have similar gravity. Joseph A. Ladapo, WSJ, "The Looming Civil-Liberties Battle," 29 Apr. 2020 The commission's decisions are hugely consequential to elections for a decade. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Arizona chief justice's emergency order will keep info about redistricting commission secret," 10 Apr. 2020 As long as Johnson recovers fully and quickly, Starmer’s election has the potential to be more consequential than either of the other two events, even if those are more immediately defining. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "Britain Finds its Way (Helped by the Queen)," 6 Apr. 2020 One issue that could be particularly consequential for the election is the threat the case poses to the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions. Adam Liptak,, "Supreme Court to hear Obamacare appeal," 3 Mar. 2020 Haydon is an obscure but important participant in the most consequential race for a vaccine in medical history. Carolyn Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "Inside the extraordinary race to invent a coronavirus vaccine," 3 May 2020 Until now, that has meant mobilizing a team of 300 people and stakeholders across dozens of countries to move the needle on the most consequential issues of our time, from the climate crisis to conflict resolution. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Elizabeth Cousens Has Raised Almost $200 Million for the World Health Organization (Mostly) in Her Pajamas," 29 Apr. 2020 Their advice is already proving consequential, though not always successful. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Crushing coronavirus means ‘breaking the habits of a lifetime.’ Behavior scientists have some tips," 16 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for consequential

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The first known use of consequential was in 1626

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Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consequential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for consequential


How to pronounce consequential (audio)

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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