Consequentialism: An ethical theory that sees the ethical goodness or wrongness of an act as determined by the nonmoral consequences of the act, such as the amount of pleasure or pain the act produces. A good example is utilitarianism, which claims that the morally right act is the one that produces the best consequences for all who will be affected. Consequentialist theories are contrasted with deontological theories, which hold that rightness and wrongness are not completely determined by consequences.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 27-28.