Is it OK to say:

We can't reach a unanimous consensus on the issue.

Does unanimous consensus make sense? I know from the dictionary that unanimous collocates with agreement but I didn't find Unanimous consensus. Which one is better?

  • Unanimous consensus
  • Unanimous agreement
  • consensus is very often used to mean "wide but not unanimous agreement" or "agreement by a large majority with only few dissenters". The consensus among scientists is that human activity is a major factor contributing to global-warming. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 29 '18 at 19:29

Unanimous agreement is better. Consensus is general agreement, whereas unanimity is complete agreement. Do not mix the two.


consensus is unanimous. Unanimous consensus is redundant.

unanimous agreement is OK because one can say partial agreement, complete agreement, a majority of persons in agreement (majority agreement).

We can't reach a consensus on this issue. We can't reach unanimous agreement on this issue.

  • So cold you please tell me which adjectives collocate with consensus in order to emphasize it? – a.toraby Oct 29 '18 at 15:15
  • I would change the wording: Quite simply, consensus has eluded us. – Lambie Oct 29 '18 at 15:20
  • Consensus is not synonymous with "unanimity". – Michael Harvey Oct 30 '18 at 18:47
  • @MichaelHarvey I didn't say that. I said if there is a consensus, then there is unanimity. That's true. However, a consensus can be qualified, in which case, there is no unanimity. – Lambie Oct 30 '18 at 19:20
  • I think you just contradicted yourself. – Michael Harvey Oct 30 '18 at 21:15

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