con·​sist | \ kən-ˈsist How to pronounce consist (audio) \
consisted; consisting; consists

Definition of consist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : lie, reside usually used with in Liberty consists in the absence of obstructions …— A. E. Housman"In her consists my happiness … "— William Shakespeare

2 archaic

a : exist, be
b : to be capable of existing
3 : to be composed or made up usually used with of Breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, and fruit.The team consists of five players.
4 : to be consistent it consists with the facts


con·​sist | \ ˈkän-ˌsist How to pronounce consist (audio) \

Definition of consist (Entry 2 of 2)

: makeup or composition (as of coal sizes or a railroad train) by classes, types, or grades and arrangement

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Examples of consist in a Sentence


that account consists with the information in the other reports

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Their relationship consisted mostly of texting and other electronic communications. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "Woman begins jail sentence for texting suicide conviction," 11 Feb. 2019 Originally, the group consisted mostly of clients for Google's online services, like Gmail, Maps, Talk, and YouTube. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary," 21 July 2018 The rest of the show mostly consists of paintings that do not exactly hang quietly on the walls. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Artist gets metaphysical at Columbia Art Center," 6 July 2018 Prior to the approval, activity at the plant consisted mostly of preparing the facility for FDA inspection, as well as hiring and training new employees. Hannah Lang, charlotteobserver, "After investing $100 million in NC, company finally gets OK to make new drug in the US," 3 July 2018 This conversation consists mostly of sports talk, golf talk, and book talk and, despite the delay, moves at a relatively unhurried pace, primarily because of that Clintonian I-only-have-eyes-for-you magic. Jack Mccallum,, "The President Is Golfing," 27 June 2018 While some CEOs maintain a Jobsian cult of personality and where celebrity fan attacks mostly consist of endless walls of snake emoji, Musk’s followers differ in their moral righteousness and emotional defensiveness. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "The gospel of Elon Musk, according to his flock," 26 June 2018 The lawmakers said the meeting, which lasted nearly an hour, mostly consisted of them listening to these stories. Alana Abramson, Time, "‘This Is Evil.’ Inside Lawmakers’ Visit With Immigrants at a Detention Center," 19 June 2018 The Suns’ predraft workouts have consisted mostly of players who are candidates for the No. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Suns' draft prospects offer scouting reports on Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So, out of the wire comes pulses of light that consist of thousands upon thousands of highly pure colors. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "661Tbps through a single optical fiber: The mind boggles," 1 Aug. 2018 Cystic acne is a specific type of acne that consist of underground pimples that can leave facial scarring if not treated correctly. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know To Get Rid of Cystic Acne for Good," 7 Nov. 2017 Moscow has insisted that its relations with the nation consist of mutually beneficial cooperation between longtime friends and has sought to mediate among Central African Republic’s warring parties. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "EU to Boost Support for Central African Republic as Russia Expands Its Role," 15 Oct. 2018 No, these dumplings, in their broadest classification, consist of pieces of dough wrapped around...something. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Debatable Encyclopedia of Drunk Food," 1 Oct. 2018 The little Liesses consist of three boys (Christian, 11, Justin, 8, and Luke, 6) and two girls (Gisele, 3, and Aurora, 1). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About David and Lauren Liess's New DIY Network Show," 6 Nov. 2018 The modular system will wear over the standard U.S. Army field uniform and consist of leggings, a cape, sleeves, a veil, and so on. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army Is Testing a New Sniper Suit," 4 Oct. 2018 But the clouds had to be at very low altitude and consist of very small drops. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "The deserts of Titan have organic dust storms," 4 Oct. 2018 That tribute, designed by Fox, sits at the north end and consists of three slabs of polished black granite that have been inscribed with the names of the six victims. Inga Saffron,, "What the new Salvation Army memorial tells us about Philadelphia's building boom," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consist.' 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 consist


1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for consist

Verb and Noun

Middle French & Latin; Middle French consister, from Latin consistere, literally, to stop, stand still, from com- + sistere to take a stand; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

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Statistics for consist

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consist

The first known use of consist was in 1526

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More Definitions for consist


con·​sist | \ kən-ˈsist How to pronounce consist (audio) \
consisted; consisting

Kids Definition of consist

: to be made up or composed Coal consists mostly of carbon.

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More from Merriam-Webster on consist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consist

Spanish Central: Translation of consist

Nglish: Translation of consist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on consist

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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