1 : of the nature of a secondary result : indirect
2 : consequent
3 : having significant consequences : important
4 : self-important
Did You Know?
Consequential dates from the 17th century and can be traced back to the Latin verb consequi, meaning "to follow along." Consequi, in turn, combines the prefix con-, meaning "through" or "with," and sequi, meaning "to follow." The English words sequel, second, and suitor are among the offspring of sequi. Henry Fielding's 1728 comedy Love in Several Masques introduced the meaning of "important" to consequential, which had until that point been used primarily in the context of results. Evidence for this usage declined temporarily in the 19th century, causing its acceptability to be questioned by such commentators as H. W. Fowler; it resurfaced in the 20th century, however, and is now considered standard.
Voters handed the mayor a decisive victory in the election, demonstrating that they still trust her to handle the most consequential issues facing the community.
"But while much of the world was looking away, Shinzo Abe, the country's prime minister since 2012, has become one of the most consequential Japanese politicians of the postwar era." — Bill Powell, Newsweek, 29 Sept. 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Fill in the blanks to create a relative of Latin sequi that describes a person who is too eager to help or obey someone: _ _ se _ u _ _ us.VIEW THE ANSWER
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