Definition of consist in US English:



[no object]
  • 1consist inBe composed or made up of.

    ‘the exhibition consists of 180 drawings’
    • ‘I had my own sort of set prayer, consisting of six words that had been used many times.’
    • ‘This consisted of three to five men who were all loyal to the king and hand-picked by him to serve him.’
    • ‘The exhibition will consist of a wide range of products aimed at the construction industry.’
    • ‘It usually consisted of two chickens which she roasted in the big pot oven at the open fire.’
    • ‘Yesterday's trip out consisted mostly of a visit to the home of football, Maine road.’
    • ‘Last week against France we had a very basic game plan which consisted of kick and chase, hit and ruck.’
    • ‘It would have consisted of a canoe slalom course, canoe run and changing and training facilities.’
    • ‘Pride of place went to an exhibit which consisted of two police-cars on top of one another.’
    • ‘Actually I was presenting evidence which consisted of others presenting an argument.’
    • ‘Lunch was in a typical Cuban restaurant and consisted of fruit, rice and chicken.’
    • ‘Hence an atom consisting of a nucleus and nine electrons would require thirty measurements.’
    • ‘The last few conversations we had together consisted of trying to make some kind of sense of what was happening.’
    • ‘It is also our intention to include a section at the back of the book consisting of songs and choruses.’
    • ‘I'd seen the trailer which largely consisted of this end speech and was a bit disappointed.’
    • ‘The proposed park will consist of five ramps of various sizes and seating.’
    • ‘These consisted not of tapes, as you say, but of European sex channel programmes.’
    • ‘Two control groups consisting of ten plants in each group were included initially.’
    • ‘Since then, his movie career has largely consisted of false leads and failed promises.’
    • ‘The inside consisted of a wooden floor and a workbench, complete with a small vice at the kitchen wall end.’
    • ‘It was spread over two days and consisted of five papers in all, each of which was two and a half hours long.’
    be composed, be made up, be formed
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    1. 1.1consist in Have as an essential feature.
      ‘his duties consist in taking the condition of the barometer’
      • ‘The ritual consists in being seen: you are your own shameless reality show, especially if you film yourself in action on your videophone.’
      • ‘It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time.’
      • ‘Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.’
      • ‘Healing consists in replacing the legacy of racism with a legacy of reconciliation and peace between peoples.’
      • ‘His triumph consists in the fact that he can be neither fought nor punished, because he has already taken care of both these things himself.’
      • ‘Essentially, the security work consisted in constructing a netting barrier around the top of the entire perimeter of wooden fencing, about six inches from the top and projecting inwards by about eighteen inches.’
      • ‘Their success consists in being able to discuss their differences without letting it destroy the rest of their relationship.’
      • ‘Its ultimate crime consisted in forcing millions of people for decades to express publicly and cheerfully their consent with something they regarded as criminal, untrue or idiotic.’
      • ‘‘Progress, far from consisting in change,’ said the Spanish sage, ‘depends on retentiveness.’’
      • ‘The solution consists in finding the trade-offs that are most effective in approaching this expectation.’
      • ‘If punishment just consisted in reducing the scale of the benefit for having done something, then that wouldn't really be a punishment at all, it would just be, well, like a kind of tax.’
      • ‘The appropriate reaction to such a man consists in awe and reverence and humility rather than contempt.’
      • ‘Part of their education arguably consists in having some of their opinions challenged.’
      • ‘They essentially consist in transferring power from nature to man, leaving nature degraded and depleted in the process.’
      • ‘In all cases, however, the exchange of information, from person to person, is essential, even if it consists in the giving of orders.’
      • ‘The provision was oppressive, but the oppression consisted in the fact that it placed a burden on anyone with a homosexual orientation - anyone with a psychological propensity to engage in homosexual acts.’
      • ‘Now our intrepid graduate student can conclude that the piety of the wise consists in the imitation of the gods.’
      • ‘In reality holiness consists in one thing alone, namely, fidelity to God's plan.’
      • ‘It consists in questioning the role of rationality in human affairs.’
      • ‘It's a curious belief, undoubtedly, consisting in the main of the idea that the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament), being the unmediated word of God, can be infinitely recombined to produce divine wisdom.’
      exist, subsist, inhere, be inherent, lie, reside, have its being, have its existence, be present, be contained
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  • 2consist witharchaic Be consistent with.

    ‘the information perfectly consists with our friend's account’
    • ‘It implies that rational inquiry and religious doctrine cannot consist with one another.’
    • ‘The experimental evidence demonstrates the absence of a link between the two biochemical pathways, consisting with the chemiosmotic theory.’
    • ‘So in geology we are nearest to discovering the true causes of the revolutions of the globe, when we allow them to consist with a quiescent state of the elements.’
    • ‘But in advocating for workplace based ALP branches and placing responsibilities on all MPs to engage with union activists on a regular basis, the review is broadly consisting with the union movement's own modernisation agenda.’


  • A set of railroad vehicles forming a complete train.

    • ‘I also noticed a Virginia Railway Express consist with the new bi-level cars, similar to Tri-Rail in Florida.’
    • ‘I have to get back to my room and get my coat so that I can hit the platform and record the consist.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘be located or inherent in’): from Latin consistere ‘stand firm or still, exist’, from con- ‘together’ + sistere ‘stand (still)’.