consult

verb
con·​sult | \ kən-ˈsəlt How to pronounce consult (audio) \
consulted; consulting; consults

Definition of consult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to have regard to : consider "Adams, consult your own safety, and don't remain here … "— Charles Dickens
2a : 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

consult

noun
con·​sult | \ kən-ˈsəlt How to pronounce consult (audio) , ˈkän-ˌsəlt How to pronounce consult (audio) \

Definition of consult (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from consult

Verb

consulter noun

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.

Examples of consult in a Sentence

Verb

consult a lawyer about a business matter You should not attempt these exercises without first consulting your doctor. He made the decision without consulting me. I expect to be consulted on important decisions. I don't remember that part of the meeting; I'll have to consult my notes.

Noun

it was time for a change of do, which called for a consult with her hairdresser
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some theorize that ancient indigenous populations carved it to depict Carthaginians consulting an oracle that would tell them when to sail home. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Eight Spots in the United States Where You Can See Petroglyphs," 18 July 2019 Johnson began the event in 2018 with Duke Manyweather, an offensive line scouting and development consultant who currently trains or consults with 35 NFL linemen. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Why these NFL opponents teamed up for a weekend of film review before training camp," 16 July 2019 While Atwood is a producer on the series, and Miller has frequently referred to consulting with her while developing the show over the years, the book seems poised to stand alone. Liz Shannon Miller, The Verge, "Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale is a model of longform worldbuilding," 15 July 2019 The agency selected the areas to be treated by looking at the origins and paths of previous dust storms, then visited the sites near the freeway and consulted with partnering agencies about areas of concern. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "ADEQ is treating soil along I-10 in Pinal County to reduce dust storm risk," 13 July 2019 Some of the conservatives that Trump consulted Thursday have adopted controversial tactics on social media — and even have been disciplined by Facebook, Google, or Twitter for running afoul of their rules. Tony Romm, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump accuses social media companies of ‘terrible bias’ at White House summit decried by critics," 11 July 2019 At Providence Career and Technical Academy, a high school that combines classroom learning with on-the-job apprenticeships, the district adopted Summit without first consulting the staff. E. Tammy Kim, The New Yorker, "The Messy Reality of Personalized Learning," 10 July 2019 The attorney general consulted with career ethics officials at the Justice Department before deciding not to recuse himself. CBS News, "Barr won't recuse himself from New York case against Jeffrey Epstein," 9 July 2019 The second 'Powerpoint' design to crop up comes courtesy of Barcelona, who really should have spent a little more time consulting their 2012/13 away kit with Nike. SI.com, "50 Worst Football Shirts of All Time," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And investigators found more than 10,000 open and pending consults for prosthetics and hearing aids, leaving veterans to wait months for these items. Washington Post, "Management failures led to ‘unacceptable’ patient risks at VA’s flagship D.C. hospital, watchdog finds," 7 Mar. 2018 State secretaries will send representatives to discuss security and consult with outside experts. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Gov. Hogan sets up new computer security office to protect state networks," 18 June 2019 Voters check consult information posted at a school in Kinshasa on Dec. 30, 2018, during the Democratic Republic of Congo’s general elections. WSJ, "Photos of the Week," 4 Jan. 2019 With a rising number of teens and adolescents suffering from depression and anxiety, and too few professionals to help, remote video consults are helping pediatricians fill the gap in some communities. Laura Landro, WSJ, "The Psychiatrist Can See Your Child Now, Virtually," 8 Jan. 2019 Parents, teens and family practitioners report high satisfaction with remote consults and appreciate their convenience and privacy. Laura Landro, WSJ, "The Psychiatrist Can See Your Child Now, Virtually," 8 Jan. 2019 To use Block, customers fill out a questionnaire on their website and receive a video consult on the specialties of their project. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "This Renovation Start-Up Wants To Deliver Your New Bathroom To You," 17 Dec. 2018 There's a morning consult poll that showed his favorability was down, even in groups targeted, Millennials and African-Americans and so forth. Fox News, "Larry Kudlow on where the Trump economy is headed," 8 Sep. 2018 The Consultation My consult with Dr. Kolker set me at ease. Allure, "I Got Rhinoplasty at 25 — Here's What to Expect From a Nose Job," 7 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of consult

Verb

1527, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1560, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for consult

Verb and Noun

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

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Statistics for consult

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consult

The first known use of consult was in 1527

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More Definitions for consult

consult

verb

English Language Learners Definition of consult

: 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

verb
con·​sult | \ kən-ˈsəlt How to pronounce consult (audio) \
consulted; consulting

Kids Definition of consult

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.

consult

transitive verb
con·​sult | \ kən-ˈsəlt How to pronounce consult (audio) \

Medical Definition of consult

: to ask the advice or opinion of consult a doctor

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More from Merriam-Webster on consult

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consult

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consult

Spanish Central: Translation of consult

Nglish: Translation of consult for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consult for Arabic Speakers

Comments on consult

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