con·​so·​la·​tion | \ ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce consolation (audio) \

Definition of consolation

1 : the act or an instance of consoling : the state of being consoled : comfort She found great consolation in all the cards and letters she received.
2 : something that consoles specifically : a contest held for those who have lost early in a tournament

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Other Words from consolation

consolatory \ kən-​ˈsō-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce consolatory (audio) , -​ˈsä-​ \ adjective

Examples of consolation in a Sentence

His kind words were a consolation to me. the consolation of the grieving family by their pastor

Recent Examples on the Web

In recent weeks the Supreme Court has considered two last-minute appeals from men denied this consolation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "When a Prisoner Is Executed," 11 Apr. 2019 People find incredible consolation in reading stories that aren’t their own but somehow are their own. Amy Sutherland,, "Reads for guidance and comfort — especially now," 13 Apr. 2018 Dove made 13 of 19 shots from the field and hit all five of his foul shots in leading the Challengers, who rebounded from an opening round loss to win three straight in the consolation rounds. Plain Dealer Sports,, "Cuyahoga Community College rolls Grand Rapids in NJCAA D2 men's consolation game," 24 Mar. 2018 His absence, still grieved by many admirers, offers at least one consolation. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "Remembering Pat Conroy: Southern Comforter," 1 Mar. 2019 Following this to the letter, of course, would require giving up some of winter’s chief consolations and delights: A hot mocha on a cold morning. Nadia Berenstein, SELF, "Holiday Parties Bring Out the Worst of My Rosacea," 19 Dec. 2018 One consolation for equity investors: The link between crude prices and shares in oil-producing companies, while still strong, has weakened somewhat this year. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Oil Giant PetroChina Hits Eight-Month Low as Crude Slumps," 26 Nov. 2018 The heartiness of my veins is no consolation to me as the needle goes in. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Feeling the drip, drip, drip of the mobile IV craze," 13 June 2018 But there's some consolation for the USA: Soccer's governing body announced Wednesday that the United States, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup. Editors, USA TODAY, "2018 World Cup, Hillary Clinton email case, U.S. Open: 5 things to know Thursday," 14 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consolation

see console entry 2

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Statistics for consolation

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consolation

The first known use of consolation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for consolation



English Language Learners Definition of consolation

: something that makes a person feel less sadness, disappointment, etc.
: a contest in which people or teams that have previously lost compete against each other


con·​so·​la·​tion | \ ˌkän-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce consolation (audio) \

Kids Definition of consolation

1 : something that lessens disappointment, misery, or grief … he would never be the best runner … and his only consolation was neither would Gary Fulcher.— Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia
2 : the act of comforting or the state of being comforted

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Comments on consolation

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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