[kuh n-suhl-ting]


employed or involved in giving professional advice to the public or to those practicing the profession: a consulting physician.
of, relating to, or used for consultation: a physician's consulting room.

Origin of consulting

First recorded in 1790–1800; consult + -ing2
Related formsun·con·sult·ing, adjective


[verb kuh n-suhlt; noun kon-suhlt, kuh n-suhlt]

verb (used with object)

to seek advice or information from; ask guidance from: Consult your lawyer before signing the contract.
to refer to for information: Consult your dictionary for the spelling of the word.
to have regard for (a person's interest, convenience, etc.) in making plans.
Obsolete. to meditate, plan, or contrive.

verb (used without object)

to consider or deliberate; take counsel; confer (usually followed by with): He consulted with his doctor.
to give professional or expert advice; serve as consultant.


Archaic. a secret meeting, especially one for seditious purposes.

Origin of consult

1525–35; (< Middle French consulter) < Latin consultāre to deliberate, consult, frequentative of consulere to consult, take counsel; cf. consul
Related formspre·con·sult, verbre·con·sult, verbun·con·sult·ed, adjective

Synonym study

1. Consult, confer imply talking over a situation or a subject with someone to decide points in doubt. To consult is to seek from a presumably qualified person or source advice, opinion, etc.: to consult an authority. To confer is to exchange views: The partners conferred concerning their business. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for consulting

consultative, advising, consultive, instructive

Examples from the Web for consulting

Contemporary Examples of consulting

Historical Examples of consulting

  • He was consulting a small note-book, wherein he jotted down some figures.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • The officers had come forward to the barricade and were consulting together.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Consulting my atlas to get my bearings I now ventured forth.

  • Then she spent months and months in consulting one and another.


    Emile Zola

  • The two sweethearts looked at each other for a few seconds as if consulting.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for consulting



(prenominal) acting in an advisory capacity on professional mattersa consulting engineer



(when intr, often foll by with) to ask advice from (someone); confer with (someone)
(tr) to refer to for informationto consult a map
(tr) to have regard for (a person's feelings, interests, etc) in making decisions or plans; consider
(intr) to make oneself available to give professional advice, esp at scheduled times and for a fee
Derived Formsconsultable, adjectiveconsulter or consultor, noun

Word Origin for consult

C17: from French consulter, from Latin consultāre to reflect, take counsel, from consulere to consult
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 consulting



1520s, from Middle French consulter (16c.), from Latin consultare "consult, take the advice of," frequentative of consulere "to take counsel, meet and consider" (see consultation). Related: Consulted; consulting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper