Meaning of “consult” in the English Dictionary

"consult" in British English

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consultverb

uk /kənˈsʌlt/ us /kənˈsʌlt/

C1 [ T ] to get information or advice from a person, book, etc. with special knowledge on a particular subject:

If the symptoms get worse, consult your doctor.
I'm not quite sure how to get there - I'd better consult a map.

C1 [ I or T ] to discuss something with someone before you make a decision:

Why didn't you consult me about this?
This afternoon the president was consulting with his advisers.

More examples

  • If you have any problems, consult the FAQs on our website.
  • If any of these symptoms occur while you are taking the medicine, consult your doctor immediately.
  • If the pain persists, consult a doctor.
  • They consulted the village elders.
  • I'll have to consult my colleagues about the proposed changes.

(Definition of “consult” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"consult" in American English

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consultverb [ T ]

us /kənˈsʌlt/

to get information or advice from a person, esp. an expert, or to look at written material in order to get information:

[ T ] If you don’t know the meaning of a word, consult a dictionary.

To consult is also to inform someone about a situation, often in order to get approval for an action you plan to take:

[ T ] The committee will consult people in the neighborhood before making a recommendation.
consultative
adjective /kənˈsʌl·tə·t̬ɪv, ˈkɑn·səlˌteɪ·t̬ɪv/

It's just a consultative meeting, so nothing will be decided.

(Definition of “consult” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"consult" in Business English

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consultverb

uk /kənˈsʌlt/ us

[ T ] to get information or advice from a person, book, etc. with special knowledge on a particular subject:

consult a lawyer/solicitor/accountant, etc. Because investors' state and local taxes may be different than the federal taxes described above, investors should consult their own tax advisors.
We consulted the committee's report for advice on how to proceed.

[ I or T ] to discuss something with someone before you make a decision:

They will consult customers on what precisely they want.
consult with sb The Chief Financial Officer told him that it slowed her down to have to consult with the board of directors.

(Definition of “consult” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)