consequence

noun

con·​se·​quence ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkwen(t)s How to pronounce consequence (audio)
-kwən(t)s
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
3
a
: 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
Phrases
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web As the organization places a premium on developing its young talent, another 60-loss season may be the consequence. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 17 Nov. 2022 That may be a consequence, the study authors wrote, of public health efforts to curb the inappropriate use of cough medications that contain narcotics, including opioids. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 15 Nov. 2022 There's another consequence of living in a rotating vehicle, which is called the Coriolis force. WIRED, 11 Nov. 2022 The president has said the 8.2 percent annual inflation is a consequence of Russia invading Ukraine in February, which caused a spike in food and energy prices. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Nov. 2022 Maher is a Democrat running for the open seat in the 26th Senate District in Fairfield County, a region that has been shifting from Republican to Democratic for more than a decade, a consequence of demographic and political change. Mark Pazniokas, Hartford Courant, 6 Nov. 2022 On the right, Citizens for Sanity ran an ad during the World Series saying that Mr. Biden’s domestic failures are a consequence of the financial and military support the U.S. is giving Ukraine. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 2 Nov. 2022 The result is a consequence of the fragmentation of the Arab political scene, Talshir said. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 If the question of whether the government can regulate the possession of firearms were put to the people, and the people were evenly divided, what would be the consequence? Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

see consequent entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near consequence

Cite this Entry

“Consequence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consequence. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

consequence

noun

con·​se·​quence ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkwen(t)s How to pronounce consequence (audio)
-si-kwən(t)s
1
2
: importance that comes from the power to produce an effect
a mistake of no consequence

More from Merriam-Webster on consequence

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ