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

And, to be fair, most of the responses to that recognized that Jordan's parents were likely consulted and/or compensated for her appearance in the ad. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Kristen Bell Shut Down an Instagram Follower Who Said She's "Exploiting" a Kid for Her New Line," 26 Feb. 2019 But the NFL Players Association said it wasn’t consulted on the change and threatened litigation. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Resolve Collusion Grievances With NFL," 15 Feb. 2019 The same engineer had his license renewed and was even consulted on regulatory changes and building reinforcement after the quake. Fox News, "Damaged buildings, graft haunt Mexico City year after quake," 18 Sep. 2018 Residents weren’t consulted about the property until February — nearly a year after councilors planned to move ahead with the purchase. Mikaela Porter, courant.com, "Malloy Says Financial Tech Company Will Relocate To Former UConn Campus In West Hartford," 3 July 2018 Sharp says that’s not surprising, since tribes had not been seriously consulted in any previous carbon pricing proposals in Washington state, either. Kate Yoder, WIRED, "Can This State Finally Put a Price on Carbon?," 7 June 2018 Ancelotti is the perfect man for Ronaldo to consult about the move, having officially started work as the manager of Napoli at the beginning of this month. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo Consults Former Manager Carlo Ancelotti Ahead of Rumoured Juventus Move," 7 July 2018 Under the new rules, Commerce would be required to consult with the State Department, along with the Energy and Defense departments before okaying a deal. Annie Linskey, BostonGlobe.com, "Donald Trump wants to make foreign arms sales easier," 23 June 2018 The crowd filled the jungly dining room, verdant with greenery and a rotating disco ball, and sat down for a meal of Mexican-ish fare; consulting chef Mads Refslund perfectly revised authentic Mexican recipes to fit Manhattan’s cravings. Eliseé Browchuk, Vogue, "Welcome to the Jungle: Fashion Week Comes to an End With a Gitano Dance Party," 14 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Foy said Grassley’s blue-slip policy is like Biden’s, who required that the White House consult with home-state senators on each nomination, regardless of the blue-slip situation. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Are Senate Republicans killing ‘blue slip’ for court nominees?," 21 Feb. 2018 In some cases, the primary care team may be able to save the patient a visit to a specialist, through what is called an electronic consultation, or e-consult. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Three reasons why young, healthy people want a primary care provider," 13 June 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

17 Mar 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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