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See more synonyms for consolation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of consoling; comfort; solace.
  2. the state of being consoled.
  3. someone or something that consoles: His faith was a consolation during his troubles. Her daughters are a consolation to her.
  4. Sports. a game, match, or race for tournament entrants eliminated before the final round, as a basketball game between the losing semifinalists.
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Origin of consolation

1325–75; Middle English consolacioun (< Anglo-French) < Latin consōlātiōn- (stem of consōlātiō), equivalent to consōlāt(us), past participle of consōlārī (con- con- + sōlā-, stem of sōlārī to comfort, + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion; see solace


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for consolation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He held Philothea's hand continually, and often spoke to her in words of consolation.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • My only consolation is that the war must soon be over, and that I will have helped.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • But for her consolation were the matters of food and dress, and of countless junketings.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It is a consolation to remember that, sooner or later, their time must come.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • If it could be any consolation to them, these Saxons were not William's only captives.

British Dictionary definitions for consolation


  1. the act of consoling or state of being consoled; solace
  2. a person or thing that is a source of comfort in a time of suffering, grief, disappointment, etc
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Derived Formsconsolatory (kənˈsɒlətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective
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 consolation


late 14c., "act of consoling," from Old French consolacion (11c., Modern French consolation) "solace, comfort; delight, pleasure," from Latin consolationem (nominative consolatio-) "consoling, comforting," noun of action from consolat-, past participle stem of consolari (see console (v.)). Consolation prize is recorded from 1886.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper