1 [transitive, intransitive] to go to somebody for information or adviceconsult somebody If the pain continues, consult your doctor.consult somebody about something Have you consulted your lawyer about this?a consulting engineer (= one who has expert knowledge and gives advice) (North American English) consult with somebody (about/on something) Consult with your physician about possible treatments.2 [transitive, intransitive] to discuss something with somebody to get their permission for something, or to help you make a decisionconsult somebody You shouldn't have done it without consulting me.consult somebody about/on something I expect to be consulted about major issues.consult with somebody (about/on something) I need to consult with my colleagues on the proposals.3 [transitive] consult something to look in or at something to get informationUsage note: talkdiscuss speak communicate debate consultThese words all mean to share news, information, ideas or feelings with another person or other people, especially by talking with them.talk to speak in order to give information, express feelings or share ideas:We talked on the phone for over an hour.discuss (rather formal) to talk and share ideas on a subject or problem with other people, especially in order to decide something:Have you discussed the problem with anyone? You cannot say ‘discuss about something’:I'm not prepared to discuss about this on the phone.speak to talk to somebody about something; to have a conversation with somebody:I've spoken to the manager about it. ◇ ‘Can I speak to Susan?’ ‘Speaking.’ (= at the beginning of a telephone conversation)talk or speak?Speak can suggest a more formal level of communication than talk. You speak to somebody about something to try to achieve a particular goal or to tell them to do something. You talk to somebody in order to be friendly or to ask their advice:Have you talked to your parents about the problems you're having? ◇ I've spoken to Ed about it and he's promised not to let it happen again.communicate (rather formal) to exchange information or ideas with somebody:We only communicate by email. ◇ Dolphins use sound to communicate with each other. Communicate is often used when the speaker wants to draw attention to the means of communication used.debate to discuss something, especially formally, before making a decisionor finding a solution:Politicians will be debating the bill later this week.consult (rather formal) to discuss something with somebody in order to get their permission for something, or to help you make a decision:You shouldn't have done it without consulting me.to talk/discuss something/speak/communicate/debate/consult with somebodyto talk/speak to somebodyto talk/speak to somebody/consult somebody about somethingto talk/speak of something
Synonymrefer toHe consulted the manual.