con·​se·​quen·​tial | \ ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈkwen(t)-shəl How to pronounce consequential (audio) \

Definition of consequential

1 : of the nature of a secondary result : indirect insurance against consequential loss
2 : consequent oversupply and the consequential plummeting prices
3 : having significant consequences : important a grave and consequential event consequential decisions

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Other Words from consequential

consequentiality \ ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˌkwen(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce consequential (audio) \ noun
consequentially \ ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˈkwen(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce consequential (audio) \ adverb
consequentialness \ ˌkän(t)-​sə-​ˈkwen(t)-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce consequential (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for consequential


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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.

Examples of consequential in a Sentence

There have been several consequential innovations in their computer software. The change to the schedule is not consequential.
Recent Examples on the Web And no oil disaster was more consequential than the 1969 blowout on an offshore platform in the Santa Barbara Channel, still ranked as one of the worst in U.S. history and sparking a national environmental movement. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2021 This willful destruction of forests is so much more consequential than most people realize. Jeff Horowitz, Time, 21 Sep. 2021 Newsom has leaned into that, telling voters no decision is more consequential to the health and safety of the state than the recall election. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 Weinstein, the law professor, said it’s possible the ruling in the Apple case could be appealed by either or both parties, and subsequent rulings could be more consequential for the debate about the future of tech regulation. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 No recent development was more consequential than a Supreme Court ruling last week that undercut the N.C.A.A. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 But the bill is more consequential than the coverage, and one theme in particular deserves more attention. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2021 But perhaps most consequential for Black Californians, who continue to be overly and aggressively policed, a bill by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) allows the badges of problematic cops to be taken away permanently. Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 What a wild, consequential, and weirdly anticlimactic political week this proved to be, with so much more to digest than there was time for., 17 Sep. 2021

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

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consequential

see consequent entry 1

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Time Traveler for consequential

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The first known use of consequential was in 1626

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consequential contempt

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consequential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for consequential



English Language Learners Definition of consequential

: happening as a result : consequent


con·​se·​quen·​tial | \ ˌkän-si-ˈkwen-chəl How to pronounce consequential (audio) \

Legal Definition of consequential

: of the nature of an indirect or secondary result

More from Merriam-Webster on consequential

Nglish: Translation of consequential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consequential for Arabic Speakers


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