con·​sol·​i·​da·​tion | \ kən-ˌsä-lə-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce consolidation (audio) \

Definition of consolidation

1 : the act or process of consolidating : the state of being consolidated
2 : the process of uniting : the quality or state of being united specifically : the unification of two or more corporations by dissolution of existing ones and creation of a single new corporation
3 : pathological alteration of lung tissue from an aerated condition to one of solid consistency
4 : the process by which a new memory is converted into a form that is stable and long-lasting Initially fragile memories can gain stability via consolidation, but the extent to which sleep contributes to this process is unresolved …— John D. Rudoy et al.

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Examples of consolidation in a Sentence

the consolidation of several intelligence agencies into one super agency

Recent Examples on the Web

After his success at Sulphur Springs, he was hired as the coach at Shenandoah, a consolidation of Sulphur Springs, Cadiz and Middletown. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Car accident nearly took everything from Ray Pavy — everything but love for basketball," 23 May 2018 After several weeks of reports, a potential Viacom-CBS merger begins to take shape when both companies’ boards decide to form special committees to evaluate whether a consolidation of the two media companies would benefit shareholders. Kate Stanhope,, "Timeline: The Redstones' many battles for Viacom ... and now CBS," 22 May 2018 San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to explore a possible consolidation of the region's five public safety dispatch centers. City News Service, Ramona Sentinel, "Supervisors consider consolidating dispatch centers," 8 May 2018 Dorgan didn’t seek a full term and was named a co-chair of Rauner’s campaign finance committee in what was viewed as a consolidation of power by Rauner ahead of his successful bid for governor. Kim Geiger,, "Rauner backs his hand-picked Republican Party chairman for re-election as leadership battle brews," 7 May 2018 The final listing also represents a slight consolidation of grants, with several Dauphin Island projects rolled into one. Lawrence Specker,, "Comment period open on $192 million in coastal grants," 22 Apr. 2018 The fact that funding source determines whether a species receives certain welfare considerations is ethically arbitrary and unjustified, and a consolidation of oversight could address this gap. Elisa A. Hurley, STAT, "Lab animal regulations can be simplified without weakening welfare standards," 4 Apr. 2018 Equally important was that newspapers underwent a dramatic consolidation around this time. Lee Drutman, New Republic, "Learning to Trust Again," 23 Feb. 2018 There’s going to be a lot of consolidation in that space because there’s absolutely no doubt that there’s been a huge move to public cloud, specifically AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "How Michael Dell played the game and saved his company from the brink," 13 Aug. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for consolidation

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consolidation

The first known use of consolidation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for consolidation



Financial Definition of consolidation

What It Is

In business, consolidation refers to the merger of several companies in a specific industry, which typically concentrates market share in the hands of a few large companies.

How It Works

Perhaps one of the most obvious examples of industry consolidation can be seen in the evolution of public accounting over the twenty years. In 1986, nine large accounting firms dominated the industry. But in 1987, Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG) merged with Peat Marwick Mitchell to create KPMG Peat Marwick, reducing the number of top-tier players to the "Big Eight." Then in 1989, Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young, and Deloitte Haskins & Sells merged with Touche Ross, further consolidating the industry to the "Big Six." In 1998, the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand created the "Big Five," and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen in 2002 left the "Big Four."

Another, more recent example can be found in the online brokerage business, where after several rounds of consolidation, three major competitors have emerged: E*Trade (following its acquisitions of BrownCo and HarrisDirect), Ameritrade (which recently won a bidding war for TD Waterhouse), and Charles Schwab.

Why It Matters

One of the driving forces behind consolidation is the operating efficiencies that often arise from mergers. Because the merged entities can merge existing operating structures and reduce any overlap, there is usually an opportunity to realize significant cost savings, as well as related revenue synergies. There are numerous other reasons which might cause a company to acquire a rival, like gaining an expanded geographic reach, a larger customer base, a broader product line, etc.

Like oligopolies, duopolies, cartels, and other environments in which a few companies control all or a significant portion of an industry, consolidations alter the balance of power in an industry. Investors should carefully consider the ramifications that merger and acquisition (M&A) activity might have on the competitive landscape.

Source: Investing Answers


con·​sol·​i·​da·​tion | \ kən-ˌsäl-ə-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce consolidation (audio) \

Medical Definition of consolidation

1 : the process by which an infected lung passes from an aerated collapsible condition to one of airless solid consistency through the accumulation of exudate in the alveoli and adjoining ducts pneumonic consolidation also : tissue that has undergone consolidation areas of consolidation
2 : the process by which a new memory is converted into a form that is stable and long-lasting Initially fragile memories can gain stability via consolidation, but the extent to which sleep contributes to this process is unresolved …— John D. Rudoy et al.

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Comments on consolidation

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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