Assent vs. Consent

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In legal English, consent and assent are often used interchangeably. There is a subtle difference though.

The term assent connotes a positive and voluntary agreement both as a noun and a verb.

“Assent to a proposal of marriage.”

The term consent is neutral in connotation and can apply even when the agreement is given reluctantly.

“The employee consented to the non-compete clause being included in her employment agreement.”