1

consult

verb con·sult \ kən-ˈsəlt \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of consult

transitive verb
1 : to have regard to : consider
  • "Adams, consult your own safety, and don't remain here … "
  • —Charles Dickens
2 a : to ask the advice or opinion of
  • consult a doctor
  • consult a lawyer
b : to refer to
  • consult a dictionary
intransitive verb
1 : to consult an individual
  • consulted with experts on the matter
2 : to deliberate together : confer
  • … the three powers would consult on how to ameliorate the internal political conflict …
  • —W. S. Vucinich
3 : to serve as a consultant

consulter

noun

Examples of consult in a Sentence

  1. consult a lawyer about a business matter

  2. You should not attempt these exercises without first consulting your doctor.

  3. He made the decision without consulting me.

  4. I expect to be consulted on important decisions.

  5. I don't remember that part of the meeting; I'll have to consult my notes.

Recent Examples of consult from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consult.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

confer vs. consult

Confer and consult are very closely related in meaning, and each has senses that are synonymous with the other’s. But as is so often the case with near-synonyms, there are contexts in which one word is preferable to the other.

If you confer with someone, it is entirely possible that you will be seeking advice, but you could also simply be having a discussion (“they conferred privately before making a decision”). If you are consulting someone or something, it is more likely that you are seeking advice (“he consulted his doctor before deciding on a course of treatment”). Consult is unambiguously the correct choice when one is seeking guidance or information from a non-human source; you would consult (not confer with) a dictionary for information on a word.

The sense of confer that is concerned with giving something (as in, “education confers many benefits”) is not shared by consult.

Origin and Etymology of consult

Middle French or Latin; Middle French consulter, from Latin consultare, frequentative of consulere to deliberate, counsel, consult


2

consult

noun con·sult \ kən-ˈsəlt , ˈkän-ˌsəlt \

Definition of consult

Examples of consult in a Sentence

  1. it was time for a change of do, which called for a consult with her hairdresser

Recent Examples of consult from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consult.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of consult



CONSULT Defined for English Language Learners

consult

verb

Definition of consult for English Language Learners

  • : to go to (someone, such as a doctor or lawyer) for advice : to ask for the professional opinion of (someone)

  • : to talk about something with (someone) in order to make a decision

  • : to look for information in (something, such as a book or map)


CONSULT Defined for Kids

consult

verb con·sult \ kən-ˈsəlt \

Definition of consult for Students

consulted; consulting
1 : to seek the opinion or advice of
  • consult a doctor
2 : to seek information from
  • consult a dictionary
3 : to talk something over
  • I'll have to consult with my lawyer.

Medical Dictionary

consult

transitive verb con·sult \ kən-ˈsəlt \

medical Definition of consult

: to ask the advice or opinion of
  • consult a doctor


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