• synonyms


[kuh n-sis-tuh n-see]
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noun, plural con·sist·en·cies.
  1. a degree of density, firmness, viscosity, etc.: The liquid has the consistency of cream.
  2. steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.: There is consistency in his pattern of behavior.
  3. agreement, harmony, or compatibility, especially correspondence or uniformity among the parts of a complex thing: consistency of colors throughout the house.
  4. the condition of cohering or holding together and retaining form; solidity or firmness.
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Also con·sist·ence [kuh n-sis-tuh ns] /kənˈsɪs təns/.

Origin of consistency

First recorded in 1585–95; consist(ent) + -ency
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for consistency

flexibility, firmness, texture, stability, uniformity, coherence, steadiness, cohesion, unity, harmony, fitness, compatibility, pliability, fabric, plasticity, density, solidity, viscosity, elasticity, suppleness

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Contemporary Examples of consistency

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British Dictionary definitions for consistency



noun plural -encies or -ences
  1. agreement or accordance with facts, form, or characteristics previously shown or stated
  2. agreement or harmony between parts of something complex; compatibility
  3. degree of viscosity or firmness
  4. the state or quality of holding or sticking together and retaining shape
  5. conformity with previous attitudes, behaviour, practice, etc
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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 consistency


1590s, "firmness of matter," from Medieval Latin consistentia or directly from Latin consistentem, from consistere (see consist). Meaning "state of being in agreement or harmony" (with something) is from 1650s; meaning "self-consistent" is from 1716.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper