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

McConnell consulted a few bartender buddies with equally mean science streaks, and none of them had ever attempted anything like it. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "This Mad Science Experiment Is the Key to the Perfect Mint Julep," 3 May 2019 Teams of researchers from Australia, Europe, and the United States consulted with physicians and patients (and dug through data) in an attempt to improve health care, health outcomes, and quality of life for people with PCOS. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Can Diet and Exercise Actually Improve PCOS Symptoms?," 23 Apr. 2019 For further details, see below, consult the help menu in your browser, or visit www.allaboutcookies.org. The Editors, Outside Online, "About Our Ads," 10 July 2018 Residents say they were not properly consulted before their access to the area was limited. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Judge rejects Trump plan for road in Alaska wildlife refuge," 29 Mar. 2019 Major groups of victims say they weren’t consulted on a plan, which includes $14 billion to cover damages that PG&E estimated at $30 billion or more. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "PG&E Bondholder Proposal Faces Headwinds in Bankruptcy Court," 29 Mar. 2019 According to the Lion Air investigation, pilots consulted the aircraft's safety manual while trying to steer the plane to safety. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Report: Ethiopian Airlines Pilots Followed Boeing's Safety Procedures But Couldn't Prevent Crash," 3 Apr. 2019 Prinsloo ultimately didn't do anything about the offer after consulting her family about it. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Things to Know About Behati Prinsloo," 1 Feb. 2019 Several of them are: Victoria’s Labor government has been consulting with local tribes about a treaty since 2016. The Economist, "Australia’s states offer to make treaties with aboriginals," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Doctors at the hospital consult with their counterparts in the Caribbean, says Victor Blanchette, co-chairman of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative. Lucette Lagnado, WSJ, "Young Cancer Patients in Poor Countries Get a Boost," 26 Sep. 2018 In May, Ouskouian allegedly diagnosed a man, who has not been identified, regarding a growth on his neck in a consult room at UCI. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Former California college student charged after pretending to be doctor, diagnosing man, officials say," 30 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

12 May 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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