cor·​ol·​lary ˈkȯr-ə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce corollary (audio)
 British  kə-ˈrä-lə-rē
plural corollaries
: a proposition (see proposition entry 1 sense 1c) inferred immediately from a proved proposition with little or no additional proof
: something that naturally follows : result
… love was a stormy passion and jealousy its normal corollary.Ida Treat
: something that incidentally or naturally accompanies or parallels
A corollary to the problem of the number of vessels to be built was that of the types of vessels to be constructed.Daniel Marx
corollary adjective

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The Origin and Evolution of Corollary

Corollary comes from the Late Latin noun corollarium, which can be translated as "a garland given as a reward." "Corollarium" comes from the Latin corolla, meaning "small crown or garland." If you know that a garland or small crown was sometimes given to actors in addition to their pay, it makes sense that another sense of "corollarium" is "gratuity." Later, "corollarium" developed the philosophical sense of a supplementary proposition that follows directly from one that has been proved. (You can think of a corollary as a "bonus" that follows from the proof of something else.) The broader modern sense, "something that naturally follows," evolved from the philosophical one.

Example Sentences

one corollary of the rise of television was a massive makeover of radio's programming increased taxes—or expanding deficits—are the inevitable corollary to any new government spending program
Recent Examples on the Web As proficient as the offense has been behind the 3-point line, Ferry emphasized that the 3-point shot is not the top priority in every offensive set, but instead a corollary of how the players are supposed to run plays. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 13 Dec. 2022 And an interesting corollary, as birds' names are similar to those of their parents and siblings, is that birds' relationships might be inferred from their calls. Veronique Greenwood, Discover Magazine, 13 July 2011 But the other principle, which Kagan presents as a necessary corollary, routinely corrupts the first with its aggrandizing nationalism and violent warmongering. Samuel Moyn, The New Republic, 14 Feb. 2023 The corollary is that the score sounds juiciest when the opulence is sufficiently excessive, and David McVicar’s new production for the Metropolitan Opera gets partway to the right degree of too much. Vulture, 5 Jan. 2023 But, after decades of mass shootings, his assertion that the cops can’t protect you reads as a corollary to the left’s warning that the cops won’t protect you. Corey Robin, The New Yorker, 9 July 2022 In this historical survey, Fuentes Morgan, an English professor at Santa Clara University, offers a sharp analysis of satire as a comedic corollary to the blues. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2022 Interestingly, both the 2013 paper, which documented a 12-year-old girl from India who was sweating blood, and this latest report don’t mention stress as a corollary to the condition. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 12 Apr. 2018 The corollary to this, of course, is: Grown-ups need to listen up and pay attention. Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corollary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English correlary, corolarie, borrowed from Late Latin corōllārium, going back to Latin, "garland (given as a reward), unsolicited payment, gratuity," from corōlla "small wreath of flowers" + -ārium -ary entry 1 — more at corolla

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of corollary was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near corollary

Cite this Entry

“Corollary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


cor·​ol·​lary ˈkȯr-ə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce corollary (audio)
plural corollaries
: something that follows directly from something that has been proved
: something that naturally follows : result

More from Merriam-Webster on corollary

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