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[kuh n-sen-shoo-uh l]
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  1. formed or existing merely by consent: a consensual transaction.
  2. Physiology. (of an action) involuntarily correlative with a voluntary action, as the contraction of the iris when the eye is opened.

Origin of consensual

1745–55; < Latin consēnsu-, stem of consēnsus consensus + -al1
Related formscon·sen·su·al·ly, adverbnon·con·sen·su·al, adjectivenon·con·sen·su·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for consensual

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The Consensual Contracts, it will be observed, were extremely limited in number.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

  • Doubtless we may pass gradually from the purely reflex, through the consensual, to the voluntary.

  • We now reach the fourth class, or Consensual Contracts, the most interesting and important of all.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

  • For, in truth, the peculiarity of these Consensual Contracts is that no formalities, are required to create them out of the Pact.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

  • A consensual ecclesiastical jurisdiction is thus created, which has to this extent temporal sanction.

British Dictionary definitions for consensual


  1. law (of a contract, agreement, etc) existing by consent
  2. law (of a sexual activity) performed with the consent of all parties involved
  3. (of certain reflex actions of a part of the body) responding to stimulation of another part
Derived Formsconsensually, adverb

Word Origin

from consensus + -al 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for consensual


1754, "having to do with consent," from stem of Latin consensus (see consensus) + -al (1). Meaning "by consent" is attested from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

consensual in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. Of or relating to a reflexive response of one body structure following stimulation of another, such as the concurrent constriction of one pupil in response to light shined in the other.
  2. Of or relating to involuntary movement of a body part accompanying voluntary movement of another.
Related formscon•sensu•al•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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