Definition of council in English:


Syllabification: coun·cil
Pronunciation: /ˈkounsəl


  • 1An advisory, deliberative, or legislative body of people formally constituted and meeting regularly: an official human rights council
    More example sentences
    • When papers were served on the council, officials took steps to find a place for the boy.
    • A report was given on the council meeting which was attended by two members of the guild.
    • She is scheduled to formally open the advisory council's standing committee meeting on Thursday.
    advisory body, board, committee, brain trust, commission, assembly, panel; synod, convocation
  • 1.1A body of people elected to manage the affairs of a city, county, or other municipal district.
    More example sentences
    • Local government consists of elected county and municipal councils.
    • City and district councils are at the forefront of dog control.
    • Mayors and municipal councils are elected directly by the local community.
    local authority, municipal authority, local government, administration, executive, chamber, assembly, corporation
  • 1.2An ecclesiastical assembly.
    More example sentences
    • Before deciding to accept, he conferred with his synod council.
    • So it seems the plenary council and synod proposals have been put on a back burner.
    • Synod councils can send recommendations to the Church Council before its April meeting.
  • 1.3An assembly or meeting for consultation or advice: that evening, she held a family council
    More example sentences
    • She has no business in a family council only open to family members.
    • Call a family council at some other time to work out such problems.
    • Ordinarily, a family council is based on principles and processes set out in a family charter but this is not always the case.
    meeting, gathering, conference, conclave, assembly


Old English (in the sense 'ecclesiastical assembly'): from Anglo-Norman French cuncile, from Latin concilium 'convocation, assembly', from con- 'together' + calare 'summon'. Compare with counsel.

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