Definition of consequence in English:



  • 1A result or effect, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant:

    ‘abrupt withdrawal of drug treatment can have serious consequences’
    ‘many have been laid off from work as a consequence of government policies’
    • ‘Of course, as a consequence of all that activity, I'm shattered this morning.’
    • ‘I am much more inclined to think that their alcoholism or addiction has come about as a consequence of their situation.’
    • ‘Residents fear a major accident is imminent, as a consequence of the excess speed of vehicles.’
    • ‘Just two years ago, she had one of her legs amputated as a consequence of a rare form of cancer, but vowed it would be no bar to living a full life.’
    • ‘As a consequence of her resignation she was required to vacate the property.’
    • ‘There are two bigger pictures taking shape as a consequence of this result.’
    • ‘I do not see how the respondents can claim that they were successful as a consequence of the hearing.’
    • ‘Drought in Australia as a consequence of El Niño has had substantial effects on production.’
    • ‘As a consequence of this the County Council hope to bring successful prosecutions in the near future.’
    • ‘People do die as a consequence of our health care system when it cannot provide timely and proper care.’
    • ‘As part of his claimant stated that he could no longer play any sports as a consequence of the accident.’
    • ‘This is primarily as a consequence of fuel poverty and inadequate insulation of houses.’
    • ‘We have low inflation and as a consequence of that I think people are creating jobs and full time jobs.’
    • ‘As a consequence of binge drinking they are also likely to be absent from work or school.’
    • ‘She told the court she feared her client might suffer as a consequence of the Lord Chief Justice's new guidelines.’
    • ‘In fact, twice as many people die in Britain as the result of cold winter nights as they do as a consequence of hot summer days.’
    • ‘Accordingly, we write to confirm the proposal that we have formulated as a consequence of our recent discussions.’
    • ‘The technique ought to be very specific in its choice of target, with few side effects as a consequence.’
    • ‘Farmers were ruined and indebted as a consequence of war and the passage of troops.’
    • ‘I suspect, in fact, that this is as a consequence of having spent so much time recently thinking visually.’
    result, upshot, outcome, out-turn, sequel, effect, reaction, repercussion, reverberations, ramification, end, end result, conclusion, termination, culmination, denouement, corollary, concomitant, aftermath, product, produce, by-product
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  • 2[mass noun], [usually with negative] Importance or relevance:

    ‘the past is of no consequence’
    • ‘Likely as not the prisoner was a man of no consequence who was being used to make trouble.’
    • ‘In fact, it's fair to say that there are no named sources of any consequence in the piece.’
    • ‘In other words, you should barter what is of no consequence to you but may be of value to others.’
    • ‘The first time it happened he dismissed it as a silly nightmare of no consequence.’
    • ‘Then I laughed and made some light comment of no consequence hoping to change the topic.’
    • ‘He refused to do so, saying that their names were of no consequence since the men in question were dead anyway.’
    • ‘Whatever anybody else is doing out there is of no consequence to us.’
    • ‘These are votes on issues that have no real consequence to Canadian society.’
    • ‘As we have said before these small post offices are a central part of local communities, but clearly that is of no consequence.’
    • ‘To these people, it is of no consequence that animals should suffer or die, simply for entertainment.’
    • ‘They have no property, reputation or access to resources so they can mouth off without consequence.’
    • ‘At best, these are tactical devices with limited consequence; but they are not strategic weapons.’
    • ‘For me, the political leanings of either of the two persons discussed is of no consequence.’
    • ‘The story is interesting but there is nothing of particular consequence for us to note here.’
    • ‘It is of no consequence that the switch of domination occurred after rugby turned professional.’
    • ‘Maybe it's enough that he did leave and the reason why is of no consequence at all.’
    • ‘The fact that the spot is reserved for a disabled driver is of no consequence to you.’
    • ‘If we do not face global warming and other environmental problems, all the politics in the world are of no consequence.’
    • ‘At my age the future of the town is of no consequence in personal terms.’
    • ‘Are you going to be a great nation or a couple of forgotten islands of no consequence?’
    importance, import, significance, account, moment, momentousness, substance, note, mark, prominence, value, weightiness, weight, concern, interest, gravity, seriousness
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    1. 2.1dated Social distinction:
      ‘a woman of consequence’
      • ‘He was clearly of consequence but his hold on power was precarious.’
      • ‘Both serving and retired soldiers were persons of consequence in their communities.’
      • ‘She marries a respectable Dutch merchant in London and subsequently lives as a person of consequence in Holland.’
      fame, distinction, eminence, pre-eminence, prominence, repute, reputation, prestige, acclaim, celebrity, note, notability, mark, standing, stature, account
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  • 3consequences[treated as singular] A game in which a narrative is made up by the players in turn, each ignorant of what has already been contributed.

    • ‘The groups used their creative imaginations and played a game of 'consequences' to create drawings and models of creatures such as reptiles, insects, birds and fish.’
    • ‘This would include ‘a parent inventing a bedtime story or a child playing consequences at a birthday party.’’
    • ‘My family's been playing consequences for years.’


  • in consequence

    • As a result:

      ‘he died in consequence of injuries sustained’
      • ‘The basic philosophy of this organization must be, in consequence, deeply humanistic.’
      • ‘And in consequence, letters became an absolutely key means of communication.’
      • ‘If they are unwilling to do that, and in consequence cannot find the workers they need, then they have no-one to blame but themselves.’
      • ‘The jury held that he was capable of managing his own affairs and he will in consequence be discharged from the local asylum.’
      • ‘Their prescriptions, in consequence, dramatically differ from those of the deep ecologists.’
      • ‘They ought, in consequence, to attract the nation's sympathy.’
      • ‘That was in consequence of a misunderstanding between myself and a young person.’
      • ‘After the revolution the social prestige of the working class rose considerably and in consequence the prestige of the lower middle class fell in relative terms.’
      • ‘Haven't I been present as a student at many operations which ought never to have been done, and in several cases the patient has died in consequence?’
      • ‘There is no action that ought to be taken in consequence, there is no injury that could be righted in that way.’
      therefore, for that reason, consequently, so, as a result, as a consequence, in consequence, hence, thus, then, that being so, that being the case, on that account
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  • take (or bear) the consequences

    • Accept responsibility for the negative results or effects of one's choice or action:

      ‘you acted on your own initiative, and you will take the consequences’
      • ‘Those who want to replace peace with confrontation will also take the responsibility and bear the consequences.’
      • ‘He has done wrong and will have to take the consequences, but it has gone beyond hunting now, it's about civil liberties.’
      • ‘If you accept the fact that it is illegal then you have to accept the risk and be prepared to take the consequences.’
      • ‘If they choose to attack someone of particular sensitivity or vulnerability, they must generally speaking be ready to take the consequences.’
      • ‘Having made the choice for her, the parents should bear the consequences.’
      • ‘If they break the law by making nuisances of themselves - let them learn by taking the consequences.’
      • ‘And he was leaving his job anyway and would not bear the consequences.’
      • ‘Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions.’
      • ‘Both groups know they have the freedom to say whatever they want; both groups also understand that they have to take the consequences.’
      • ‘I want him to face up to his responsibilities and take the consequences of his actions.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin consequentia, from consequent- following closely, from the verb consequi.