con·so·la·tion | \ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈlā-shən \

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, -ˈsä- \ adjective

Synonyms for consolation


cheer, comfort, relief, solace

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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

One consolation is that emerging-market assets and currencies are cheaper. Richard Barley, WSJ, "The Fed Dulls Hopes of an Emerging Market Rebound," 15 June 2018 That provides small consolation to victims who have already lost thousands or millions of dollars in email scams. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Feds Bust Dozens of Email Scammers, but Your Inbox Still Isn’t Safe," 12 June 2018 Hedba lost to Maine South’s Kovacevic in the quarterfinals last season, then lost to Lockport’s Jack Randall in the consolation semifinals. Rich Mayor,, "Boys tennis notes: Maine South's Danilo Kovacevic ready to keep playing in college," 27 May 2018 The Zhengs did not place at the DVC meet, losing in the consolation semifinals. Matt Le Cren, Naperville Sun, "Sister act: Joyce and Kathy Zheng double down on success for Naperville Central badminton," 11 May 2018 Both are devoted to Lampy, but their devotion is no consolation for his previous girlfriend having left him, nor for his ambivalence about his current girlfriend. Margot Livesey,, "Braiding lives of a Syrian refugee, a failed 23-year-old, and elderly accountant," 13 July 2018 Now sisig numbers among the world’s greatest foods to eat with beer, a sip and a bite, one consolation after another. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Filipino Specialty Best Paired With a Brew in the East Village," 5 July 2018 None of that was much consolation, though, after the disappointment of a ninth-inning comeback that fizzed. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies' rally falls short amid 'unacceptable' strikeout by Rhys Hoskins," 25 May 2018 That Friday’s defeat can be chalked up to a learning experience is little consolation. Jon Meoli,, "Tanner Scott can't close the door, and Orioles open series with 5-4 loss to Rangers," 14 July 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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Phrases Related to consolation

if it's any consolation

Statistics for consolation

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for consolation

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

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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 \

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 reject or criticize sharply

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