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[koun-suh l] /ˈkaʊn səl/

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.
an assembly of people meeting for discussion, consultation, etc: an emergency council
a body of people elected or appointed to serve in an administrative, legislative, or advisory capacity: a student council
(sometimes capital) (Brit) the council, the local governing authority of a town, county, etc
a meeting or the deliberation of a council
(modifier) of, relating to, provided for, or used by a local council: a council chamber, council offices
(modifier) (Brit) provided by a local council, esp (of housing) at a subsidized rent: a council house, a council estate
(Austral) an administrative or legislative assembly, esp the upper house of a state parliament in Australia
(Christianity) an assembly of bishops, theologians, and other representatives of several churches or dioceses, convened for regulating matters of doctrine or discipline

early 12c., from Anglo-French cuncile, from Old North French concilie (Old French concile, 12c.) “assembly; council meeting; body of counsellors,” from Latin concilium “group of people, meeting,” from com- “together” (see com-) + calare “to call” (see claim (v.)). Tendency to confuse it in form and meaning with counsel has been consistent since 16c.

spoken of counsellors who sat in public trials with the governor of a province (Acts 25:12). The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the “judgment,” perhaps, in Matt. 5:21, 22) in the cities of Palestine (Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9). In the time of Christ the functions of the Sanhedrim were limited (John 16:2; 2 Cor. 11:24). In Ps. 68:27 the word “council” means simply a company of persons. (R.V. marg., “company.”) In ecclesiastical history the word is used to denote an assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed account in Acts 15.


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  • Councillor

    [koun-suh-ler, -sler] /ˈkaʊn sə lər, -slər/ noun 1. . [koun-suh-ler, -sler] /ˈkaʊn sə lər, -slər/ noun 1. a member of a council. 2. . /ˈkaʊnsələ/ noun 1. a member of a council /ˈkaʊnsələ/ noun 1. a variant US spelling of councillor 2. an archaic spelling of counsellor n. late 14c., alteration of counsellor by assimilation […]

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