From Middle French consulter, from Latin consultare (“to deliberate, consult”), frequentative of consulere (“to consult, deliberate, consider, reflect upon, ask advice”), from com- (“together”) + -sulere, of uncertain origin.
- enPR: kŏn'sŭlt or kənsŭlt'
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɒnsʌlt/, /kənˈsʌlt/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɑnsʌlt/
Audio (US) (file)
consult (plural consults)
- (obsolete) The act of consulting or deliberating; consultation
- (obsolete) the result of consultation; determination; decision.
- The council broke; And all grave consults dissolved in smoke. -John Dryden.
- (obsolete) A council; a meeting for consultation.
- A consult of coquettes. -Jonathan Swift.
- (obsolete) Agreement; concert.
- (US) A visit, e.g. to a doctor; a consultation.
- The noun consult is avoided in British English, favoring consultation instead. In AmE, they are merely synonyms.
- (intransitive) To seek the opinion or advice of another; to take counsel; to deliberate together; to confer.
- (intransitive) To advise or offer expertise.
- (intransitive) To work as a consultant or contractor rather than as a full-time employee of a firm.
- (transitive) To ask advice of; to seek the opinion of (a person)
1899, John Cotton Dana, chapter 1, in A Library Primer:
- If you have no library commission, consult a lawyer and get from him a careful statement of what can be done under present statutory regulations.
- (transitive) To refer to (something) for information
1904, Guy Wetmore Carryl, chapter 3, in Far from the Maddening Girls:
- Which reminds me that I have never remembered from that hour to consult the dictionary upon a selvage.
- Men forgot, or feared, to consult ... ; they were content to consult libraries. - William Whewell.
- (transitive) To have reference to, in judging or acting; to have regard to; to consider; as, to consult one's wishes.
- We are ... to consult the necessities of life, rather than matters of ornament and delight. -L'Estrange.
- (transitive, obsolete) To deliberate upon; to take for.
- Many things were there consulted for the future, yet nothing was positively resolved. -Edward Hyde Clarendon.
- (transitive, obsolete) To bring about by counsel or contrivance; to devise; to contrive.
- Thou hast consulted shame to thy use by cutting off many people. - Bible, Heb. ii. 10.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for consult in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)