Definition of council in English:



  • 1An advisory, deliberative, or administrative body of people formally constituted and meeting regularly.

    ‘an official human rights council’
    • ‘There will be four experts on the council, from the Ministry of Forestry, the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University.’
    • ‘While dissenting voices are certainly needed on the council they should be those that espouse a coherent ethical view.’
    • ‘The advisory council's annual meeting, normally held in Kuala Lumpur, is being hosted for the first time in Bayan Lepas.’
    • ‘He went on to call on the council officials to also support the campaign.’
    • ‘When papers were served on the council, officials took steps to find a place for the boy.’
    • ‘He has less than a year to consolidate his position on the council, so he'll have to make his presence felt and get as much publicity as he can to boost his profile.’
    • ‘She is scheduled to formally open the advisory council's standing committee meeting on Thursday.’
    • ‘What really did he discover at the University of Western Australia, where he had studied and also was on the council?’
    • ‘A few hours after the letter was posted on the council's Web site, someone decided to take it down.’
    • ‘The staffing of the facility and the ongoing monitoring and reporting costs will also represent a continuing draw on the council's resources.’
    • ‘He said that he had been on the council for 37 years and no issue had ever received as much consultation and debate.’
    • ‘Stepping up the pressure on the council, White House officials said they wanted negotiations wrapped up quickly.’
    • ‘He is on the council of the Albert Hall.’
    • ‘They deny that they served on the council.’
    • ‘He said it had not been possible to find a source of substantial funding to operate the vessel and, as a result, it would place a big burden on the council.’
    • ‘This marked the first time Ireland had served on the council since 1981.’
    • ‘Although nominally only an advisory body, the council's decisions are viewed in practice as binding and ignored by the government at its own peril.’
    • ‘A report was given on the council meeting which was attended by two members of the guild.’
    • ‘That would put the onus on the council to determine small applications within a 40-day period.’
    • ‘South Africa would ably represent the continent on the council.’
    advisory body, advisory group, board, board of directors, committee, commission, assembly, panel, trustees, delegates, delegation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A body of people elected to manage the affairs of a city, county, or other municipal district.
      ‘a ban on school buses using the road was imposed by the county council’
      • ‘Mayors and municipal councils are elected directly by the local community.’
      • ‘He has considerable years of experience on the council; I feel he could do an excellent job as mayor.’
      • ‘The parish of Clonegal has only one man going forward for a seat on the council and he has proved that no matter what your political views he has done all in his power to help the locals.’
      • ‘She thanked all the officials and remarked that her five years on the council gave her an insight into how the county runs.’
      • ‘The mayor must present to the council his administrative actions based on the council's decisions.’
      • ‘These 1,500 men had a right to elect the city council which governed the city's 13,000 people.’
      • ‘Sometimes there is a deadlock in a city and district, and regional councils and mayors have to show leadership and give a casting vote.’
      • ‘Within each county there are also towns with mayors, city councils, police chiefs, and fire departments.’
      • ‘He served on the council until 1979, when he decided not to run for re-election.’
      • ‘Incredibly, however, many on the council still refused to admit that the whole problem was the hundred acre coal fire merrily burning beneath the town.’
      • ‘I don't want to place the blame for that on the council because they must act in the interests of the whole town.’
      • ‘City and district councils are at the forefront of dog control.’
      • ‘Lack of transport and funds for the city and municipal councils lead to huge piles of garbage.’
      • ‘There is a representative of our 30 townlands on the council.’
      • ‘On 25 May there were elections all over Spain for regional parliaments and municipal councils.’
      • ‘The people elect local councils to govern their districts and municipalities.’
      • ‘If the mayor has limited clout on the council, it's partly because he has little constituency support in the city.’
      • ‘Local government consists of elected county and municipal councils.’
      • ‘The third tier of government, municipal councils, has an electoral system which varies from state to state.’
      • ‘But district councils said the county council could have done more to highlight the chance to get extra roads gritted.’
      local authority, local government, municipal authority, civic authority, legislative body, legislature, administration, executive, chamber, assembly, ministry, governing body, government, parliament, senate, congress, diet, cabinet
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2British as modifier Denoting housing provided by a local council at a subsidized rent.
      ‘a council flat’
      • ‘Without the alternative of new council housing for rent, record numbers are now homeless and in temporary flats and slum hotels.’
      • ‘They also want a restriction on the sale of council homes to buyers who want them only as holiday cottages.’
      • ‘It does indeed have an excellent record for providing council housing services.’
      • ‘Part of the property could be used for council housing and social housing.’
      • ‘Dwindling demand for council housing means there are about 3,000 empty properties in the city.’
      • ‘Staffing for the new services will be provided from all seven council homes.’
      • ‘They insist that all council housing be handed over to the private sector or the government will not give money for the refurbishment of them.’
      • ‘Matters that have come to pass about council housing before and since transfer leave a lot be desired.’
      • ‘As they cannot afford to buy, they will be forced into rented council housing.’
      • ‘He was exposed to asbestos dust when working as a joiner in the 1970s on the construction of council housing.’
      • ‘But the planners do wonder if they really ought to be doing a job which used to be done by council housing departments.’
      • ‘Every council bungalow will have a security door fitted.’
      • ‘She would like to speak to any youngster, whether living at home, in private rent or council accommodation.’
      • ‘On Sunday a rebel motion on council housing transfer policy was backed on a show of hands.’
      • ‘Housing associations that have taken on former council homes under the transfer scheme have raised billions of pounds of private money to repair these properties.’
      • ‘Many opted to stay, moving into new Home Housing properties as their council homes were demolished.’
      • ‘It knows transferring council housing to other landlords is an emotive issue on estates - with tenants in several areas rejecting such a move earlier this year.’
      • ‘It may give them access to child allowance and similar benefits, and to help with council housing.’
      • ‘Most recently I wrote about council housing, or rather the lack of it.’
      • ‘Since 1980, council housing has been sold at a heavy discount.’
    3. 1.3 An ecclesiastical assembly.
      • ‘It does not contradict any ecumenical councils or definitions of the faith.’
      • ‘He knew how to use the papacy for his own ends, and was prepared to pay a price - though never to the extent of allowing any of his clergy to attend papal councils.’
      • ‘Various ecumenical councils were convened where the bishops from different regions met and discussed liturgical and doctrinal matters.’
      • ‘They may not want to create a visible and abrupt rupture from the changes put into motion by the council and Pope Paul VI.’
      • ‘It was decided that the text should be shown to the ecumenical observers at the council and that their reactions to it would be solicited.’
      • ‘This pattern continued in the early ecumenical councils, especially Nicaea.’
      • ‘The council represents 19 denominations at the state capital, mostly on social issues.’
      • ‘Changes adopted by the council will be considered by the 2005 Churchwide Assembly.’
      • ‘In 416 Augustine and his African bishops convened two diocesan councils to condemn him and Celestius, another Celt.’
      • ‘The synod, like a general council, however, would have no authority over the pope and no right to reverse his decisions.’
      • ‘Begin with a 45-minute conversation with your congregational board or council.’
      • ‘Prior to the council, the diaconate was generally a transitional office on the way to priestly ordination.’
      • ‘This is exactly the reason why the Jerusalem council was called or convened.’
      • ‘It acquires the status of canon law in a series of three church councils in the sixth and seventh centuries.’
      • ‘The council could have communicated the polemical aspects of the Gospels and the facts of modern Scripture research.’
      • ‘Synod councils can send recommendations to the Church Council before its April meeting.’
      • ‘The council is the church's supreme court, a nine-member panel that at times has more power than the Council of Bishops.’
      • ‘Most of the Reformed churches would accept the teachings of the ecumenical councils of the first millennium.’
      • ‘So it seems the plenary council and synod proposals have been put on a back burner.’
      • ‘Before deciding to accept, he conferred with his synod council.’
    4. 1.4 A meeting for consultation or advice.
      ‘that evening, she held a family council’
      • ‘Ordinarily, a family council is based on principles and processes set out in a family charter but this is not always the case.’
      • ‘She has no business in a family council only open to family members.’
      • ‘Call a family council at some other time to work out such problems.’
      conference, conclave, assembly, convocation
      View synonyms


Old English (in the sense ‘ecclesiastical assembly’): from Anglo-Norman French cuncile, from Latin concilium ‘convocation, assembly’, from con- ‘together’ + calare ‘summon’. Compare with counsel.