Consequential vs consensual

Consequential and consensual are two words that have been confused. We will examine the definitions of consequential and consensual, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Consequential means something that follows as a result of something, or as a consequence. Consequential may also mean something significant or important, and is the more common use of the term. The word consequential is derived from the Latin word consequi meaning to follow after, and the suffix -al which is used to form adjectives.

Consensual describes something that is agreed to, something that involves consent. When something is consensual, all parties must agree or give their consent. The word consensual is derived from the Latin word consensus which means agreement, paired with the suffix -al.


One of the most consequential, community-minded figures in Dallas history, Altshuler—who died Friday at age 93—was frank, humorous, spontaneous, and unpretentious, both in person and on the stages where she was honored for her many decades of civic and philanthropic accomplishment. (D Magazine)

On two of the most consequential and difficult issues — overhauling of the state pension fund and improving the state’s roads — neither side sees eye to eye on solutions, let alone whether it’s a priority. (The Summit Daily News)

On Thursday, an ex-intern detailed a secret month-long consensual affair with Lauer that occurred 17 years ago,depicting him as the most powerful man at NBC preying on a powerless young woman helpless to resist. (USA Today)

The manager of a small southeastern New Mexico community facing sexual harassment accusations has said racy text messages he sent to one of his accusers were consensual. (The Santa Fe New Mexican)


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