• [mass noun] Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something:

    ‘no change may be made without the consent of all the partners’
    • ‘There is no clear legal authority for such disclosures without patient consent.’
    • ‘The requirement for community consent to ordinances was affirmed, but delegated to the Common Council.’
    • ‘We were satisfied on this evidence that the sample was taken from the appellant with his consent by a medical practitioner.’
    • ‘It was agreed that any change to the facility agreement would have to have my written consent.’
    • ‘Under modern English law, however, a lack of consent only renders a marriage voidable.’
    • ‘However, you do not need conservation-area consent or planning permission.’
    • ‘The draft order was designed to nullify the grant of the planning consent.’
    • ‘The argument that the landscaping involved required planning consent does not seem to me to carry any weight.’
    • ‘There will be orders in accordance with the signed consent of the parties.’
    • ‘The applicant filed an application for judicial review, but it was dismissed by consent.’
    • ‘She said she gave no outward sign of agreement or consent, whether verbal or physical.’
    • ‘It should be noted that the landlord has no right to consent or withhold consent to the assignment itself.’
    • ‘The Claimant alleges that the first Defendant gave her consent for him to call her, and to accompany him to a party.’
    • ‘It was simply a question of what would be available when it was built according to the development consent.’
    • ‘Like all the laws of nations, it rests upon the common consent of civilized communities.’
    • ‘Accordingly, it was not an effective request for consent under the Lease.’
    • ‘Full prior consent, including agreement to periodic follow up, will, of course, be sought.’
    • ‘Claims can be settled via mutual consent, by arbitration or by a court award.’
    • ‘He could not believe that the development could be approved without his consent.’
    • ‘The question of their consent or absence of consent is totally irrelevant.’
    agreement, assent, concurrence, accord
    permission, authorization, sanction, leave, clearance, acquiescence, acceptance, approval, seal of approval, stamp of approval, imprimatur, backing, endorsement, confirmation, support, favour, good wishes
    go-ahead, thumbs up, green light, ok
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  • 1 Give permission for something to happen:

    ‘he consented to a search by a detective’
    • ‘Settling around the table, the six of them bantered well into the evening until they finally consented to a chosen plan that pleased them all.’
    • ‘The professor said the family of the German man had consented to the procedure.’
    • ‘It also suggested that as the girl did not escape earlier, she must have consented to what was done to her.’
    • ‘All heads of households consented to the interview.’
    • ‘First, the legal parent has to have consented to and fostered the petitioner's relationship with the child.’
    • ‘I consented to the little girl's offer, letting her lead me by my free hand.’
    • ‘If you have allowed someone to send you emails on one topic, have you consented to getting anything that party wants to send you?’
    • ‘One way to trace liberty is to take note of occasions when people consented to those who governed them.’
    • ‘Where the author has consented to that, either personally or through another, then these rights will generally be exhausted.’
    • ‘Was it a theoretical possibility that even though no mortgagee consented to this lease, the lease could be registered?’
    • ‘It would be quite unreal to infer that the bank consented to the withdrawal by a card holder whose account had been closed.’
    • ‘She later consented to its demolition, when informed the council would not build a new one if it was still standing.’
    • ‘He consented to the taking of blood and urine samples by hospital staff ‘for medical purposes only’.’
    • ‘All group members consented to the discussion being taped, and we explained that all material would be made anonymous.’
    • ‘Thirteen obese patients were identified and consented to the procedure.’
    • ‘The plaintiff, at a pre-hearing, consented to an order and an order was issued for the release of the hospital records.’
    • ‘As an innocent man, his own government consented to his arbitrary detention and torture by a foreign power.’
    • ‘The adjournment was necessary and consented to by both parties.’
    • ‘The United States consented to that treaty in accordance with our own representative processes.’
    • ‘He denies all the charges, claiming the women consented to sexual activity.’
    agree to, assent to, allow, give permission for, sanction, accept, approve, acquiesce in, go along with, accede to, concede to, yield to, give in to, submit to, comply with, abide by, concur with, conform to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with infinitive] Agree to do something:
      ‘he had consented to serve as external assessor on the panel’
      • ‘So, we have adequate reason to interpret a person's continued voluntary residence as a form of consenting to abide by the laws of the state.’
      • ‘Although she was anxious to move into her new place, she consented to spending the night at her parents' home.’
      • ‘And, as the secured creditor has consented to the payment, no recoupment of the money paid is possible.’
      • ‘Now she consents to take charge of mine (a precious mess she will have of it, between you and me).’
      • ‘The judge locates the twins' mother and she consents to take back the boys.’
      • ‘But not only does she accede to the arrangement, she consents to be the one to find a woman who can have children.’
      • ‘He would agree to strict terms, including consenting to take antabuse and drugs to achieve chemical castration.’
      • ‘He was told he could wait some three months to see a court, but if he consented to deportation he'd be gone in a week.’
      • ‘Anyone who entered an area like that would be considered to have consented to having to inhale other people's smoke.’
      • ‘He was reluctant to do this, but of late severe sick headaches made the step imperative, and he consented to go to the hospital.’


  • by common consent

    • With the agreement of all:

      ‘it was, by common consent, our finest performance’
      • ‘Here, by common consent, the epidemic is out of control.’
      • ‘But the same trees that, by common consent, ruined thousands of acres of Scottish landscape are being cut down and left to rot - paid for once again with public funds.’
      • ‘Private property is in essence a cluster of rights inuring to the benefit of the owner, freely exchangeable in accordance with the terms of private agreements, and recognized and protected by common consent.’
      • ‘It is, by common consent, one of the most backward States in the country: backward economically, but also socially and culturally.’
      • ‘For example, just see what happens to coherence when you examine the one area of policy in which the Conservative party, by common consent, commands the field: the countryside.’
  • informed consent

    • Permission granted in full knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with knowledge of the possible risks and benefits:

      ‘written informed consent was obtained from each patient’
      • ‘Doctors commit themselves when they obtain the patient's informed consent.’
      • ‘The clinic also tells patients that the risks are so unknown it does not think informed consent is possible.’
      • ‘All patients gave informed consent, and the study had full ethical approval.’
      • ‘Recent case law on malpractice litigation and informed consent has been incorporated.’
      • ‘Regrettably, the very same design meant that it was not possible to obtain the informed consent of the patients.’


Middle English: from Old French consente (noun), consentir (verb), from Latin consentire, from con- together + sentire feel.