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 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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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 Local association — as a living reality rather than a principle — was the most consequential feature of America. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "America’s Unwritten, Unraveling Constitution," 1 May 2021 One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. Tim Darnell, ajc, "READ: Full text of President Joe Biden’s first speech before Congress," 29 Apr. 2021 One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. USA TODAY, "Read the full transcript from President Joe Biden's address to a joint session of Congress," 29 Apr. 2021 One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. CBS News, "Full text: Biden's speech before a joint session of Congress," 28 Apr. 2021 Additional efficiencies gained can be just as consequential, if less obvious. Thierry Schellenbach, Forbes, "How The API And SDK Revolutions Transform Software Development," 7 Apr. 2021 The upcoming presidential election has been described with a slew of superlatives — most consequential, monumental and high-stakes of this generation. Washington Post, "Students call on campuses to cancel Election Day classes," 21 Sep. 2020 Henrich’s most consequential—and startling—claim is that WEIRD and non-WEIRD people possess opposing cognitive styles. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, "Why Is the West So Powerful—And So Peculiar?," 6 Sep. 2020 Thomas was also in the majority in one of the most consequential corporate speech cases in modern American jurisprudence, Citizens United v. FEC, which affirmed and protected a First Amendment right to corporate political speech. David French, Time, "A Surprising Opinion From Justice Thomas May Signal an Ominous Shift on Free Speech," 9 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of consequential was in 1626

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consequential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for consequential



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

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