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consensus

[ kuhn-sen-suhs ]
/ kənˈsɛn səs /
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noun, plural con·sen·sus·es.

majority of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month.
general agreement or concord; harmony.

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Origin of consensus

1850–55; <Latin, equivalent to consent(īre) to be in agreement, harmony (con-con- + sentīre to feel; cf. sense) + -tus suffix of v. action

usage note for consensus

Many say that the phrase consensus of opinion is redundant and hence should be avoided: The committee's statement represented a consensus of opinion. The expression is redundant, however, only if consensus is taken in the sense “majority of opinion” rather than in its equally valid and earlier sense “general agreement or concord.” Criticism of consensus of opinion has been so persistent and widespread that the phrase, even though in common use, occurs only infrequently in edited formal writing. The phrase general consensus is objected to for similar reasons. Consensus is now widely used attributively, especially in the phrase consensus politics.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH consensus

census, consensus (see usage note at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for consensus

British Dictionary definitions for consensus

consensus
/ (kənˈsɛnsəs) /

noun

general or widespread agreement (esp in the phrase consensus of opinion)

Word Origin for consensus

C19: from Latin, from consentīre to feel together, agree; see consent

usage for consensus

Since consensus refers to a collective opinion, the words of opinion in the phrase consensus of opinion are redundant and should therefore be avoided
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
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