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 This app is a consolidation of our previous Sports Xtra apps, which were team specific. Chris Thomas, Detroit Free Press, "Download our new and improved sports app! Here's why," 21 Nov. 2019 For example, instead of dealing with independent radio stations there has been considerable consolidation in that sector. Ed Christman, Billboard, "ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees Review Expected to Conclude This Year While Both Sides Argue Worst-Case Scenarios," 12 Sep. 2019 The merger is the latest consolidation in the entertainment industry, following Disney’s acquisition of large parts of Fox, and AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner. NBC News, "CBS and Viacom merge to form $30 billion media company," 13 Aug. 2019 The cure is consolidation, which would cut costs and rein in the barrels pushing into an already oversupplied market. Liam Denning | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Bad Week for Energy Stocks? Wait Till Next Year," 5 Aug. 2019 Promoting this rhythmic coupling can improve memory consolidation. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "Deeper Insights Emerge into How Memories Form," 18 Nov. 2019 The numbers showed that consolidation and closing of the eleven schools would have eliminated 7,000 unused seats, reduce the cost of maintaining aging buildings, and ultimately save the district $15 million a year, according to Gordon. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "What comes next for Collinwood High depends on creative ideas, cooperation: Phillip Morris," 17 Nov. 2019 Washington closed as part of the ongoing modernization and consolidation of the town’s public schools. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Manchester panel to consider new uses for old schools," 15 Nov. 2019 What type of consolidation trade makes sense to improve the Nuggets and is also realistic? Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets Mailbag: What are Jamal Murray’s chances of making the All-Star Game?," 14 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for consolidation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for consolidation

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Consolidation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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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very cautious or careful

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