Coun"cil (koun"s?l), n. [F. concile, fr. L. concilium; con- + calare to call, akin to Gr. to call, and E. hale, v., haul. Cf. Conciliate. This word is often confounded with counsel, with which it has no connection.]


An assembly of men summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice; as, a council of physicians for consultation in a critical case.


A body of man elected or appointed to constitute an advisory or a legislative assembly; as, a governor's council; a city council.

An old lord of the council rated me the other day. Shak.


Act of deliberating; deliberation; consultation.

Satan . . . void of rest, His potentates to council called by night. Milton.

O great in action and in council wise. Pope.

Aulic council. See under Aulic. -- Cabinet council. See under Cabinet. -- City council, the legislative branch of a city government, usually consisting of a board of aldermen and common council, but sometimes otherwise constituted. -- Common council. See under Common. -- Council board, Council table, the table round which a council holds consultation; also, the council itself in deliberation. -- Council chamber, the room or apartment in which a council meets. -- Council fire, the ceremonial fire kept burning while the Indians hold their councils. [U.S.] Barilett. -- Council of war, an assembly of officers of high rank, called to consult with the commander in chief in regard to measures or importance or nesessity. -- Ecumenical council Eccl., an assembly of prelates or divines convened from the whole body of the church to regulate matters of doctrine or discipline. -- Executive council, a body of men elected as advisers of the chief magistrate, whether of a State or the nation. [U.S.] -- Legislative council, the upper house of a legislature, usually called the senate. -- Privy council. See under Privy. [Eng.]

Syn. -- Assembly; meeting; congress; diet; parliament; convention; convocation; synod.


© Webster 1913.

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