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1829, from Latin consortium "fellowship, participation, society," from consors (genitive consortis; see consort (n.)). Earlier, in British law, a term for "right of husband's access to his wife."
body A group of two or more companies, educational institutions, governments or other bodies with some shared purpose. Examples from computing include the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Apache Software Foundation, The Open Group, X Consortium. (2009-06-05)