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council

[ koun-suhl ]
/ ˈkaʊn səl /
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noun
an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice.
a body of persons specially designated or selected to act in an advisory, administrative, or legislative capacity: the governor's council on housing.
(in certain British colonies or dependencies) an executive or legislative body assisting the governor.
an ecclesiastical assembly for deciding matters of doctrine or discipline.
New Testament. the Sanhedrin or other authoritative body.
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Origin of council

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English co(u)nsile, from Anglo-French cuncil(e), Old French concile, from Late Latin concilium “synod, church council” (Latin: “assembly”), probably equivalent to Latin con- con- + -cil(āre), combining form of calāre “to summon, convoke” + -ium -ium; Middle English -s- by association with Anglo-French cunseil counsel

words often confused with council

Council, counsel, and consul are not interchangeable. Council is a noun. Its most common sense is “an assembly of persons convened for deliberation or the like.” It is generally used with a singular verb. A member of such a group is a councilor. Counsel is both noun and verb. Its most common meaning as a noun is “advice given to another”: His counsel on domestic relations is sound. A person giving such advice is a counselor. In law, counsel means “legal adviser or advisers” and can be either singular or plural. As a verb, counsel means “to advise.” The noun consul refers to the representative of a government who guards the welfare of its citizens in a foreign country.

OTHER WORDS FROM council

sub·coun·cil, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH council

1. consul, council , counsel (see confusables note at the current entry)2. board, committee, council , panel, trust
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use council in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for council

council
/ (ˈkaʊnsəl) /

noun

Word Origin for council

C12: from Old French concile, from Latin concilium assembly, from com- together + calāre to call; influenced also by Latin consilium advice, counsel

undefined council

Avoid confusion with counsel
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
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