Origin: 1850–55; < Latin, equivalent to consent(īre) to be in agreement, harmony (con-con- + sentīre to feel; cf. sense) + -tus suffix of v. action
Can be confused: census, consensus (see usage note at the current entry).
Usage note 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.
/koʊnˈsɛnsʊs ˈgɛntiˌʊm; English kənˈsɛnsəs ˈdʒɛnʃiəm/Show Spelled[kohn-sen-soos gen-tee-oom; English kuhn-sen-suhs jen-shee-uhm]Show IPA