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

Men have been consulting weather glasses and other barometers for a long time. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "Weather Trends," 20 June 2019 Referred to as a PSA, the assessment is intended for magistrate judges and commissioners to consult when deciding on defendants’ bonds. Emily Lane, nola.com, "CVS police shootout suspects detained employees with zip ties, filled trash bag with pills: NOPD," 18 June 2019 For years, the board had been criticized for funneling lucrative bond oversight and consulting work to Jasmine Engineering without seeking competing proposals, repeatedly amending existing contracts. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "Harlandale ISD board braces for state action," 13 June 2019 The other bidder was from a small government contract consulting firm in Louisville. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "3 years, 0 criminal charges and $550K later, Bevin is still investigating Steve Beshear," 12 June 2019 The group hired consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to help conduct and analyze the research. Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com, "Greater Cleveland Partnership announces plan to find Northeast Ohio’s next ‘big bet’ on innovation," 10 June 2019 There is a particular fear that games of soccer risk becoming on-field lawsuits, where crucial moments are endlessly re-litigated, with players forever asking for the cameras to be consulted. Musa Okwonga, Quartz Africa, "How to make the case for and against VAR—video assistant referee—in the beautiful game," 10 June 2019 The special counsel’s early interest in Mr. Cohen, according to the documents, focused on Mr. Cohen’s consulting work for foreign entities and on his personal finances. ... Nicole Hong And Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, "Special Counsel’s Michael Cohen Probe Dates to 2017, New Documents Show," 19 Mar. 2019 Draper spent nearly $560,0000 on legal and consulting work related to the proposal last year. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "'Three Californias' campaign gets $1 million boost," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

23 Jun 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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