Definition of consistory in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈsistərē/

noun (plural consistories)

1A church council or court, in particular.
Example sentences
  • Also in 1555, the city council gave the consistory the right to excommunicate offenders.
  • New attention was paid to Lutheran doctrine, and a revival of an awareness of Lutheran identity led to the building of new Lutheran congregations and to remarkable renewals, such as the appearance of women in consistories and ministries.
  • He used the consistory to repay faithful servants, honor distinguished church men and fill vacancies in church territories which normally have a residential cardinal.
1.1(In the Roman Catholic Church) the council of cardinals, with or without the Pope.
Example sentences
  • Later this month the church's 184 cardinals will gather at the Vatican for the sixth consistory of Pope John Paul II's pontificate.
  • John Paul called nine consistories to create cardinals.
  • He was made a cardinal in October 2003 that was the last consistory Pope John Paul called.
1.2 (also consistory court) (In the Church of England) a court presided over by a bishop, for the administration of ecclesiastical law in a diocese.
Example sentences
  • Twenty-six dioceses each had a consistory court with defamation cases providing about one quarter of their business.
  • The request was turned down by a consistory court, or church court, in 2002.
  • At first glance, one might expect a study of the deposition books of the consistory court of the diocese of Canterbury and the marriage-related provisions of wills from five sample parishes to be essentially a work of consolidation.
1.3(In other churches) a local administrative body.
Example sentences
  • The minority Protestant Church was fully tolerated and given its own organizational structure of elected consistories in 1802.
  • Collegialism is the name of a form of Church-government which attributes authority and power to a broader gathering over a local consistory.
  • A local consistory cannot plead independence.



Pronunciation: /ˌkänsiˈstôrēəl/
Example sentences
  • Each diocese of the established church had a consistorial or diocesan court, and in Dublin, superior to these, was the Prerogative Court of Armagh.
  • The final appointment to a royal pastorat will be made by the Government, and to a consistorial pastorat by the consistory.
  • This took place at the local diocesan or consistorial courts in each Diocese.


Middle English (originally denoting a nonecclesiastical council): from Anglo-Norman French consistorie, from late Latin consistorium, from consistere 'stand firm' (see consist).

Words that rhyme with consistory

history, mystery

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·sis·to·ry

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