Definition of consequence noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnsɪkwəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnsəkwens//
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  1. 1  [countable] consequence (of something) (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? Synonymsresult consequence 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 (rather 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 result of an action or process:We are waiting to hear the final 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 process to talk about what is likely to happen.repercussion (rather formal) an indirect and usually bad result of an action or event that may happen some time afterwards.Patterns to have consequences/​repercussions for somebody/​something with the result/​consequence/​outcome that… a(n)/the possible result/​consequences/​outcome/​repercussions a(n)/the likely/​inevitable result/​consequences/​outcome (a/​an) 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 in the playground, with pupils bringing sweets from home to sell to other pupils.
  2. 2[uncountable] (formal) importance Don't worry. It's of no consequence. people of some consequence in the art world
  3. 3consequences [uncountable] (British English) a game in which each player writes the first line of a story on a piece of paper and then passes it to the next player who writes the second line, and so on. Each player folds the paper so that the next player cannot see what is already written. The result is a number of crazy and often funny stories. The stories follow a pattern that always begins with the names of two people and ends with the sentence 'And the consequence was…’
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: via Old French from Latin consequentia, from consequent- ‘following closely’, from the verb consequi.Extra examples Her documentary examines the consequences of laws allowing reduced sentences for drug offenders. Hundreds of people lost their jobs as a direct consequence of the merger. I’d never done anything of consequence in my life. Matters of justice are of great consequence. Minor slips are of no consequence. Scorsese’s first feature film of any consequence The Act could have certain unintended consequences. The employer is liable for compensation payable in consequence of injury to one of its employees. The kidnappers threatened him with dire consequences if their demands were not met immediately. The majority of these losses are of little consequence. The practical consequences of his decision were considerable. The practice had far-reaching environmental consequences. There could be grave consequences for the economy. They cannot predict the precise consequences of an increase in average temperature. They fear the consequences of rebellion. They help women cope with the emotional consequences of miscarriage. This could have serious consequences for the economy. This is a tragic yet unavoidable consequence of war. You must accept the full consequences of your actions. a debate with potentially significant legal consequences a gritty look at war and its consequences on human life a new sonar system that could have deadly consequences for whales better planning to ensure that there are fewer unanticipated consequences the important electoral consequences that will follow from this decision the links between dietary choices and health consequences the negative consequences resulting from previous alcohol and drug use to face up to the physical consequences of ageing Actions have consequences. At some point you will have to face the consequences of your actions. Don’t worry. It’s of no consequence. Fearing the consequences, she left the company. His work made him a person of some consequence in the art world. This decision could have serious consequences for the future of the industry.Idioms
    in consequence (of something)
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    (formal) as a result of something The child was born deformed in consequence of an injury to the mother. It had been a humiliating day for Flora and she bore the director a grudge in consequence.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: consequence