1

consult

play
verb con·sult \kən-ˈsəlt\

Definition of consult

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to have regard to :  consider <“Adams, consult your own safety, and don't remain here … ” — Charles Dickens>

  3. 2a :  to ask the advice or opinion of <consult a doctor> <consult a lawyer>b :  to refer to <consult a dictionary>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to consult an individual <consulted with experts on the matter>

  6. 2 :  to deliberate together :  confer < … the three powers would consult on how to ameliorate the internal political conflict … — W. S. Vucinich>

  7. 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.

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

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


First Known Use: 1527


2

consult

play
noun con·sult \kən-ˈsəlt, ˈkän-ˌ\

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>

Origin and Etymology of consult

see 1consult


First Known Use: 1560



CONSULT Defined for English Language Learners

1

consult

play
verb con·sult \kən-ˈsəlt\

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

play
verb con·sult \kən-ˈsəlt\

Definition of consult for Students

consulted

consulting

  1. 1 :  to seek the opinion or advice of <consult a doctor>

  2. 2 :  to seek information from <consult a dictionary>

  3. 3 :  to talk something over <I'll have to consult with my lawyer.>


Medical Dictionary

consult

play
transitive verb con·sult \kən-ˈsəlt\

Medical Definition of consult

  1. :  to ask the advice or opinion of <consult a doctor>



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

gray or white with or as if with age

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • snowflake-closeup
  • Which is a synonym of imprecate?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ