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

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

Atlanta’s municipal government has been brought to its knees since Thursday morning by a ransomware attack — one of the most sustained and consequential cyberattacks ever mounted against a major U.S. city. Alan Blinder And Nicole Perlroth,, "Atlanta hobbled by major cyber attack that mayor calls ‘a hostage situation’," 28 Mar. 2018 Atlanta’s municipal government has been brought to its knees since Thursday morning by a ransomware attack — one of the most sustained and consequential cyberattacks ever mounted against a major American city. Alan Blinder And Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, "A Cyberattack Hobbles Atlanta, and Security Experts Shudder," 27 Mar. 2018 Some of them, such as Andrew Johnson and John Tyler, were among the most lackluster occupants of the White House, while others, primarily Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson, became some of the nation’s most consequential presidents. Jocelyn Mcclurg, USA TODAY, "Weekend picks for book lovers, including 'First in Line,' a look at vice presidents," 16 June 2018 In addition to Ohio, two of the other most consequential governor’s races in 2018 are taking place in Michigan and Nevada. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 The rift with China is the most consequential trade conflict the administration has provoked. Author: Paul Wiseman, Josh Boakap, Anchorage Daily News, "US-China trade war elevates the risks to the global economy," 7 July 2018 The Black Stars missed the consequential penalty, and went on to lose the resulting penalty shootout., "7 of the Craziest Moments in World Cup History," 3 July 2018 The most consequential protest songs get referenced again and again for a reason: their power, both felt and understood, never dies. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Grandeur of Great Protest Music," 1 July 2018 Speaking at a news conference in Anchorage last Monday, Murkowski said Trump should pick a nominee in the same mold as Kennedy and highlighted his role as the swing vote in many consequential decisions, according to the Associated Press. Eliza Collins, USA TODAY, "These six senators could make or break President Trump's Supreme Court nominee," 9 July 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

23 Oct 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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