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

The mega-merger is one more step in the industry’s march toward consolidation, as the value and volume of these deals climb. Jenni Avins, Quartz, "The newest mega-merger in cannabis marks one more step toward Big Weed," 21 July 2019 The recreational marijuana industry is experiencing rapid consolidation, with more than 200 deals in 2019 alone, according to data from Viridian Capital Advisors cited by Reuters. Mike Rogoway,, "Curaleaf says it will be ‘world’s largest cannabis company’ after $875 million deal," 17 July 2019 The world of radio has changed so much in the past decade, with continued consolidations, new technology and increased competition to discover new music. Annie Reuter, Billboard, "Country Radio Veteran Sam Alex Launches 'The Sam Alex Show'," 15 July 2019 Corporate consolidation, the end of private health insurance and the rights for transgender individuals sparked tremendous imagination in the debate hall. Vera Bergengruen, Time, "The First Debate Showed How Far to the Left Democrats Have Moved," 27 June 2019 Years later, consolidation among the four largest companies — Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and TechnipFMC —is helping the struggling sector to bring prices back up. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Report: Oilfield service companies beginning to raise prices," 20 June 2019 In a deal that could mark the first major step toward a broader consolidation, Santa Monica’s Bird Rides Inc. on Wednesday acquired the San Francisco electric scooter company Scoot for an undisclosed sum. Johana Bhuiyan,, "Bird buys Scoot — and a back door into San Francisco’s rental scooter market," 12 June 2019 Gualtieri said instead of moving toward greater consolidation, the system is starting to fray. David Fleshler,, "Police and fire chiefs call for removing radio system from county after Parkland failure," 5 June 2019 Compounding the problem, consolidation in the scholarly publishing market has reduced competition significantly, causing even more price inflexibility. Mackenzie Smith, The Conversation, "University of California’s showdown with the biggest academic publisher aims to change scholarly publishing for good," 15 July 2019

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

16 Aug 2019

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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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