I vaguely remember hearing a term for this, but can't remember what it was.

The word or phrase refers to the consensus reached at the end of the last conversation about a topic, just before the group parted.

Example: I was discussing a problem with colleagues last week, and we made progress towards a solution but didn't quite get there. If we pick up our conversation where we left off, we'll be starting with the insert phrase here (as opposed to square one).

What is a noun or short phrase for this concept?

  • The current consensus? – A E Nov 28 '14 at 20:48
  • Incidentally let us note consensus is no longer conceived of as reached at this or that point, but is a global product of many conversation, so the question doesn't make sense. – Elberich Schneider Nov 28 '14 at 21:00

In work-related "conversations" the buzz phrase for conclusions is "take-away".


"with our preliminary consensus" or "from what we had agreed on thus far" would work. I suspect that unless notes were taken at the meeting by an agreed-upon scribe, and circulated after, there might really be no preliminary consensus, as each participant might "take away" a differing sense as to what the group had agreed on thus far. However, If such "minutes" are circulated, they either form the basis to go onward (if all agree that the minutes reflect their understanding of the upshot of the first meeting), or the opportunity to question or clarify the reported-as-agreed-upon items before proceeding. So, better not to refer to a "consensus" unless it has been spelled out in detail and circulated.


Perhaps "understanding" is the word you seek. If the group has not settled on a solution, they have probably agreed on some parts of the solution and agreed that they that need to continue discussions on other parts before they can reach an agreement. Although they have not agreed on the solution, they have come to an understanding.

A more general term is "positions". The difference is that "position" emphasizes the disagreement in the group and "understanding" emphasizes the agreement in the group.

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