As a verb, console is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, IPA: / kən 'səʊl/: it means ‘to comfort (someone who feels grief, sadness, or disappointment). The related noun is consolation, which may denote the act of comforting, the state of being comforted, or the source of comfort. (A consolation prize is a prize given to someone who has lost a game, race, or other competition.)
As a noun, console is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, IPA: / ˈkɒn səʊl/. A console may be either a bracket used to support, e.g., a bust or vase; or a table designed to stand against a wall and supported by a bracket attached to the wall (sometimes referred to as a console-table); or a panel, desk, or other unit which contains the controls of a machine, instrument, or system (such as the panel which controls the stage lighting in a theatre, or the manuals, pedals, and stops of an organ, or a small machine for playing video games (a games console)); or a cabinet for a television or gramophone.
- Etymological note: The verb ‘to console’ comes from the Latin consolāri, a compound of solāri, ‘to comfort, console, relieve, ease’, while the related noun consolation is almost a transliteration of the Latin consolātio (genitive, consolātionis, ‘comfort, encouragement, consolation’). The derivation of the noun console is less clear. The word was borrowed from French at the beginning of the eighteenth century and used to refer to a wall bracket, console having a similar use in French; but how console came to have this use is unclear: some say that it is an abbreviation of the noun consolateur (from the Latin consolātor, ‘comforter’), and so comes ultimately from consolāri – someone or something that comforts or consoles another also supports them; others say that it derives from the verb consolider, ‘to consolidate or strengthen’. AWE is agnostic on this issue.