[kuh n-sis-tuh-ree]
noun, plural con·sis·to·ries.
  1. any of various ecclesiastical councils or tribunals.
  2. the place where such a council or tribunal meets.
  3. the meeting of any such body.
  4. Roman Catholic Church. a solemn assembly of the whole body of cardinals, summoned and presided over by the pope.
  5. Anglican Church. a diocesan court for dealing with ecclesiastical and spiritual questions, held in the cathedral church and presided over by the bishop, the bishop's chancellor, or the commissary.
  6. (in certain Reformed churches) the governing board of a local church or congregation.
  7. any assembly or council.
  8. Obsolete. a council chamber.

Origin of consistory

1275–1325; Middle English consistorie < Anglo-French < Late Latin consistōrium meeting place, equivalent to Latin consist(ere) (see consist) + -(t)ōrium -tory2
Related formscon·sis·to·ri·al [kon-si-stawr-ee-uh l, -stohr-] /ˌkɒn sɪˈstɔr i əl, -ˈstoʊr-/, con·sis·to·ri·an, adjectivenon·con·sis·to·ri·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for consistory

Contemporary Examples of consistory

  • But at a consistory of cardinals in Vatican City on Monday, Francis made his case.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Pope’s Risky Trip

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    November 21, 2014

Historical Examples of consistory

British Dictionary definitions for consistory


noun plural -ries
  1. Church of England
    1. the court of a diocese (other than Canterbury) administering ecclesiastical law
    2. the area in a church where the consistory meets
  2. RC Church an assembly of the cardinals and the pope
  3. (in certain Reformed Churches) the governing body of a local congregation or church
  4. archaic a council or assembly
Derived Formsconsistorial (ˌkɒnsɪˈstɔːrɪəl) or consistorian, adjective

Word Origin for consistory

C14: from Old French consistorie, from Medieval Latin consistōrium ecclesiastical tribunal, ultimately from Latin consistere to stand still
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for consistory

c.1300, "secular tribunal," from Old North French consistorie (Old French consistoire, 12c.) and directly from Late Latin consistorium "waiting room, meeting place of the imperial council," from Latin consistere (see consist). Meaning "Church council" is from early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper