con·​se·​quence | \ ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkwen(t)s How to pronounce consequence (audio) , -kwən(t)s \

Essential Meaning of consequence

1 : something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions The slightest error can have serious consequences. What were the economic consequences of the war? See More ExamplesThe decrease in sales was a consequence of some bad publicity about the company. Some say many jobs will be lost as a consequence of the trade agreement. He weighed/considered the consequences of making a career change.Hide
2 formal : importance or value He was a man of consequence. [=he was an important man] The outcome of the election will be of little consequence (to me). [=will not matter much to me] See More ExamplesThe style you choose is of no consequence. "What happened?" "Nothing of (any/great) consequence."Hide

Full Definition of consequence

1 : a conclusion derived through logic : inference … we can deduce … many consequences each of which can be tested by experiment.— James Bryant Conant
2 : something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions the economic consequences of the war This refined taste is the consequence of education and habit.— Joshua Reynolds
3a : importance with respect to power to produce an effect a mistake of no consequence a problem of grave international consequence
b : social importance a person of some consequence
4 : the appearance of importance especially : self-importance You will find his consequence very just and reasonable when you see him in his family. … He has a fine dignified manner, which suits the head of such a house … — Jane Austen
in consequence
: as a result

Choose the Right Synonym for consequence

importance, consequence, moment, weight, significance mean a quality or aspect having great worth or significance. importance implies a value judgment of the superior worth or influence of something or someone. a region with no cities of importance consequence generally implies importance because of probable or possible effects. the style you choose is of little consequence moment implies conspicuous or self-evident consequence. a decision of great moment weight implies a judgment of the immediate relative importance of something. the argument carried no weight with the judge significance implies a quality or character that should mark a thing as important but that is not self-evident and may or may not be recognized. the treaty's significance

Examples of consequence in a Sentence

The slightest error can have serious consequences. What were the economic consequences of the war? The decrease in sales was a consequence of some bad publicity about the company. Some say many jobs will be lost as a consequence of the trade agreement. He weighed the consequences of making a career change. The style you choose is of no consequence.
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Recent Examples on the Web The frosty precipitation has not fallen without consequence. Andrew Brinker,, 15 Nov. 2021 Some feared a conviction would have a chilling effect on self-defense and gun rights, while others worried an acquittal would provide a legal escape route for armed vigilantes who want to violently confront protesters without consequence. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 No amount of corporate re-branding should let Zuck or anyone else off the hook for the real, tangible harms their product has manifested and continues to propagate without consequence. Allison Morrow, CNN, 28 Oct. 2021 No note was left to evaporate without consequence in the placid summer air. Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2021 The turnabout is one consequence of the global energy shortage that has sent prices soaring. Brian Spegele, WSJ, 2 Nov. 2021 For the mammals that did survive, the results also suggest dietary changes once the global cooling began—likely a consequence of them migrating toward the equator for a warmer climate. Max G. Levy, Wired, 2 Nov. 2021 As just one example of a permanent consequence of the government’s actions, Spotted Eagle described the discovery of the bodies of three relatives of his tribe, estimated to be 1,500 years old, in the riverbank. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 1 Nov. 2021 That is one consequence of the Jones Act, which requires any ship transiting between American ports to be made in America, owned by Americans, and crewed by Americans. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 30 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consequence.' 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 consequence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consequence

see consequent entry 1

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Time Traveler for consequence

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The first known use of consequence was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for consequence


con·​se·​quence | \ ˈkän-sə-ˌkwens How to pronounce consequence (audio) \

Kids Definition of consequence

1 : something produced by a cause or following from a condition Her fear of stairs is a consequence of her fall.
2 : real importance His promotion is of no consequence to me.

More from Merriam-Webster on consequence

Nglish: Translation of consequence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consequence for Arabic Speakers


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