American English

Definition of consequence noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈkɑnsəkwəns//
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  1. 1[countable] consequence (for somebody/something) a result of something that has happened This decision could have serious consequences for the industry. Two hundred people lost their jobs as a direct consequence of the merger. He drove too fast, with tragic consequences. to suffer/face/take the consequences of your actions Have you considered the possible consequences? Thesaurusresultconsequence outcome repercussionThese are all words for a thing that is caused because of something else.result a thing that is caused or produced by something else:She died as a result of her injuries. This book is the result of 25 years of research.consequence (somewhat formal) a result of something that has happened, especially a bad result:This decision could have serious consequences for the industry. Consequences is used most frequently to talk about possible negative results of an action. It is commonly used with such words as adverse, dire, disastrous, fatal, harmful, negative, serious, tragic, and unfortunate. Even when there is no adjective, consequences often suggests negative results.outcome the final result of an action or a process:We are waiting to hear the outcome of the negotiations.result or outcome?Result is often used to talk about things that are caused directly by something else:Aggression is often the result of fear.Outcome is more often used to talk about what happens at the end of a process, when the exact relation of cause and effect is less clear:Aggression is often the outcome of fear.Result is often used after an event to talk about what happened. Outcome is often used before an action or a process to talk about what is likely to happen.repercussion (somewhat formal) an indirect and usually bad result of an action or event that may happen some time afterwardPatterns to have consequences/repercussions for somebody/something with the result/consequence/outcome >that…> the possible result/consequences/outcome/repercussions the likely/inevitable result/consequences/outcome (a) negative results/consequences/outcome/repercussions far-reaching/serious results/consequences/repercussions to have a result/consequences/an outcome/repercussions Language Bankconsequentlydescribing the effect of something One consequence of changes in diet over recent years has been a dramatic increase in cases of childhood obesity. Many parents today do not have time to cook healthy meals for their children. Consequently/As a consequence, many children grow up eating too much junk food. Many children spend their free time watching TV instead of playing outside. As a result, more and more of them are becoming overweight. Last year, junk food was banned in schools. The effect of this has been to create a black market on the playground, with students bringing candy and snacks from home to sell to other students.
  2. 2[uncountable] (formal) importance Don't worry. It's of no consequence. people of some consequence in the art world
  3. Idioms
    in consequence (of something) (formal)
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    as a result of something The child was born deformed in consequence of an injury to its mother. It had been a humiliating day for Flora and she bore the director a grudge in consequence.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: consequence