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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does consequence mean? 

  The noun CONSEQUENCE has 3 senses:

1. a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon
2. the outcome of an event especially as relative to an individual
3. having important effects or influence

  Familiarity information: CONSEQUENCE used as a noun is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1consequence [BACK TO TOP]


A phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural phenomena


result; effect; consequence; upshot; outcome; event; issue

Context examples:

the magnetic effect was greater when the rod was lengthwise / his decision had depressing consequences for business / he acted very wise after the event

Hypernyms ("consequence" is a kind of...):

phenomenon (any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "consequence"):

impact; wallop (a forceful consequence; a strong effect)

influence (the effect of one thing (or person) on another)

knock-on effect (a secondary or incidental effect)

branch; offset; offshoot; outgrowth (a natural consequence of development)

product (a consequence of someone's efforts or of a particular set of circumstances)

placebo effect (any effect that seems to be a consequence of administering a placebo; the change is usually beneficial and is assumed result from the person's faith in the treatment or preconceptions about what the experimental drug was supposed to do; pharmacologists were the first to talk about placebo effects but now the idea has been generalized to many situations having nothing to do with drugs)

position effect ((genetics) the effect on the expression of a gene that is produced by changing its location in a chromosome)

repercussion; reverberation (a remote or indirect consequence of some action)

response (a result)

fallout; side effect (any adverse and unwanted secondary effect)

harvest (the consequence of an effort or activity)

domino effect (the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events (like a falling domino causing a whole row of upended dominos to fall))

dent (an appreciable consequence (especially a lessening))

materialisation; materialization; offspring (something that comes into existence as a result)

aftereffect (any result that follows its cause after an interval)

aftermath; backwash; wake (the consequences of an event (especially a catastrophic event))

bandwagon effect (the phenomenon of a popular trend attracting even greater popularity)

brisance (the shattering or crushing effect of a sudden release of energy as in an explosion)

butterfly effect (the phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, e.g., a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago)

by-product; byproduct (a secondary and sometimes unexpected consequence)

change (the result of alteration or modification)

coattails effect ((politics) the consequence of one popular candidate in an election drawing votes for other members of the same party)

Coriolis effect ((physics) an effect whereby a body moving in a rotating frame of reference experiences the Coriolis force acting perpendicular to the direction of motion and to the axis of rotation; on Earth the Coriolis effect deflects moving bodies to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere)

spillover ((economics) any indirect effect of public expenditure)

Sense 2consequence [BACK TO TOP]


The outcome of an event especially as relative to an individual

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural events


aftermath; consequence

Context example:

that result is of no consequence

Hypernyms ("consequence" is a kind of...):

final result; outcome; result; resultant; termination (something that results)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "consequence"):

payoff; reward; wages (a recompense for worthy acts or retribution for wrongdoing)

train (a series of consequences wrought by an event)

sequella (a secondary consequence)

fruit (the consequence of some effort or action)

comeupance; comeuppance; deserts (an outcome (good or bad) that is well deserved)

corollary (a practical consequence that follows naturally)

Sense 3consequence [BACK TO TOP]


Having important effects or influence

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects


consequence; moment; import

Context examples:

decisions of great consequence are made by the president himself / virtue is of more moment that security

Hypernyms ("consequence" is a kind of...):

significance (the quality of being significant)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "consequence"):

matter ((used with negation) having consequence)

hell to pay (dire consequences)


inconsequence (having no important effects or influence)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"After a storm comes a calm." (English proverb)

"Time is gold." (Albanian proverb)

"All crows in the world are black." (Chinese proverb)

"After rain comes sunshine" (Dutch proverb)

 CONSEQUENCE: related words searches 

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