con·​sol·​i·​date | \ kən-ˈsä-lə-ˌdāt How to pronounce consolidate (audio) \
consolidated; consolidating

Definition of consolidate

transitive verb

1 : to join together into one whole : unite consolidate several small school districts
2 : to make firm or secure : strengthen consolidate their hold on first place He consolidated his position as head of the political party.
3 : to form into a compact mass The press consolidates the fibers into board.

intransitive verb

: to become consolidated specifically : merge The two companies consolidated.

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Other Words from consolidate

consolidator \ kən-​ˈsä-​lə-​ˌdā-​tər How to pronounce consolidator (audio) \ noun

Examples of consolidate in a Sentence

The two funds will consolidate into one. The administration hopes that such measures will consolidate its position. Rebel forces have consolidated their hold on the region.
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Recent Examples on the Web Around the same time, Florida consolidated its courts. Joseph Cranney, ProPublica, "These Judges Can Have Less Training Than Barbers but Still Decide Thousands of Cases Each Year," 27 Nov. 2019 His 2017 plan for consolidating several other high schools, for example, called for closing Howe and Manual if they were returned to district control. Dylan Peers Mccoy, Indianapolis Star, "IPS cuts ties with Charter Schools USA — setting up a showdown over future of takeover schools," 24 Nov. 2019 Pope and Conway counties are also consolidating some levee districts. Emily Walkenhorst, Arkansas Online, "Corps' $26.7M part of funding to repair damage from spring's Arkansas River flood," 24 Nov. 2019 As parishes merge across Chicago, schools also have consolidated. Javonte Anderson,, "Chicago Catholics grieve parish closings as archdiocese says consolidation is a springboard for renewal," 21 Nov. 2019 Wampanoag people consolidated their survivors and their lands, and reëstablished internal self-governance. Philip Deloria, The New Yorker, "The Invention of Thanksgiving," 18 Nov. 2019 The 52-year-old interim president is quickly consolidating power and ensuring forces loyal to Morales do not disrupt Bolivia’s fragile transition. Fox News, "Bolivia change of power polarizes Western hemisphere along 'tired, ideological lines'," 17 Nov. 2019 Again, the industry consolidated, from five major labels to four, then to three in 2012 as EMI was carved up and sold. Dan Rys, Billboard, "125 Years of Billboard: How the Music Business Changed Across Decades," 14 Nov. 2019 Eugenics acquired intellectual legitimacy; and violence, and eventually Jim Crow laws, consolidated a system of white supremacy. David W. Blight, The Atlantic, "Frederick Douglass’s Vision for a Reborn America," 9 Nov. 2019

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

circa 1512, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for consolidate

Latin consolidatus, past participle of consolidare to make solid, from com- + solidus solid

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Time Traveler for consolidate

Time Traveler

The first known use of consolidate was circa 1512

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Statistics for consolidate

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Consolidate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for consolidate



Financial Definition of consolidate

What It Is

In the accounting world, to consolidate means to combine the financial statements of a company and all of its subsidiaries, divisions or suborganizations.

How It Works

Let's assume Company XYZ is a holding company that owns four other companies: Company A, Company B, Company C and Company D. Each of the four companies pays royalties and other fees to Company XYZ. At the end of the year, Company XYZ's income statement might reflect a large amount of royalties and fees and very few expenses (because these are recorded on the subsidiary income statements). Thus, an investor looking solely at Company XYZ's holding company financial statements could easily get a misleading view of the entity's performance. However, if Company XYZ wants to consolidate its financial statements -- that is, it essentially "adds" the income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements of XYZ and the four subsidiaries together -- the results give a better picture of the Company XYZ enterprise as a whole.

In the example below, notice how the holding company's assets are only $1 million, but the consolidated number shows that the entity as a whole controls $213 million in assets.

In the real world, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) require companies to eliminate intercompany transactions when the consolidate their financial statements (that is, they must exclude movements of cash, revenue, assets or liabilities from one entity to another) so as not to double count. Some examples include interest one subsidiary earns from a loan made to another subsidiary, "management fees" that a subsidiary pays the parent company and sales and purchases among subsidiaries.

Why It Matters

Consolidated financial statements provide a comprehensive overview of a company's operations. Without them, investors would not have an idea of how well an enterprise as a whole is faring.

GAAP dictates when and how companies should consolidate and whether certain entities need to be consolidated. Thus, it is important to note that entities in which a company owns only a minority interest do not often need to be consolidated. For instance, if Company XYZ owned only 5% of Company A, it probably would not have to consolidate Company A's financial statements with its own.

Companies often break out their consolidated statements by division or subsidiary so investors can see the relative performance of each, but in many cases this is not required, especially if the company owns 100% of the division or subsidiary.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce consolidate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of consolidate

: to join or combine together into one thing
: to make (something, such as a position of power or control) stronger or more secure


con·​sol·​i·​date | \ kən-ˈsä-lə-ˌdāt How to pronounce consolidate (audio) \
consolidated; consolidating

Kids Definition of consolidate

1 : to join together into one whole : unite The towns consolidated their high schools.
2 : strengthen The leader consolidated his power.

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transitive verb
con·​sol·​i·​date | \ kən-ˈsä-lə-ˌdāt How to pronounce consolidate (audio) \
consolidated; consolidating

Legal Definition of consolidate

: to join together into one whole: as
a : to combine (two or more lawsuits or matters that involve a common question of law or fact) into one — compare class action

Note: Consolidation of matters in the federal courts is governed by Rule 42 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Consolidated cases may become one single action with a single judgment, or may retain their individual identities although tried together. The court may also try one representative case and render a judgment binding on the other cases.

b : to combine (two or more corporations) to form one new corporation — compare merger

Other Words from consolidate

consolidation \ kən-​ˌsä-​lə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce consolidation (audio) \ noun

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Comments on consolidate

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a period of high artistic development

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