Definition of council in English:



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

    ‘an official human rights council’
    • ‘The staffing of the facility and the ongoing monitoring and reporting costs will also represent a continuing draw on the council's resources.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘South Africa would ably represent the continent on the council.’
    • ‘The advisory council's annual meeting, normally held in Kuala Lumpur, is being hosted for the first time in Bayan Lepas.’
    • ‘When papers were served on the council, officials took steps to find a place for the boy.’
    • ‘He went on to call on the council officials to also support the campaign.’
    • ‘Stepping up the pressure on the council, White House officials said they wanted negotiations wrapped up quickly.’
    • ‘There will be four experts on the council, from the Ministry of Forestry, the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She is scheduled to formally open the advisory council's standing committee meeting on Thursday.’
    • ‘He is on the council of the Albert Hall.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What really did he discover at the University of Western Australia, where he had studied and also was on the council?’
    • ‘While dissenting voices are certainly needed on the council they should be those that espouse a coherent ethical view.’
    • ‘A report was given on the council meeting which was attended by two members of the guild.’
    • ‘They deny that they served on the council.’
    • ‘He said that he had been on the council for 37 years and no issue had ever received as much consultation and debate.’
    • ‘A few hours after the letter was posted on the council's Web site, someone decided to take it down.’
    • ‘This marked the first time Ireland had served on the council since 1981.’
    • ‘That would put the onus on the council to determine small applications within a 40-day period.’
    advisory body, advisory group, board, board of directors, committee, commission, assembly, panel, trustees, delegates, delegation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A 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’
      • ‘City and district councils are at the forefront of dog control.’
      • ‘Local government consists of elected county and municipal councils.’
      • ‘The mayor must present to the council his administrative actions based on the council's decisions.’
      • ‘Mayors and municipal councils are elected directly by the local community.’
      • ‘There is a representative of our 30 townlands on the council.’
      • ‘These 1,500 men had a right to elect the city council which governed the city's 13,000 people.’
      • ‘On 25 May there were elections all over Spain for regional parliaments and municipal councils.’
      • ‘Sometimes there is a deadlock in a city and district, and regional councils and mayors have to show leadership and give a casting vote.’
      • ‘He served on the council until 1979, when he decided not to run for re-election.’
      • ‘He has considerable years of experience on the council; I feel he could do an excellent job as mayor.’
      • ‘Lack of transport and funds for the city and municipal councils lead to huge piles of garbage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't want to place the blame for that on the council because they must act in the interests of the whole town.’
      • ‘She thanked all the officials and remarked that her five years on the council gave her an insight into how the county runs.’
      • ‘But district councils said the county council could have done more to highlight the chance to get extra roads gritted.’
      • ‘The people elect local councils to govern their districts and municipalities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If the mayor has limited clout on the council, it's partly because he has little constituency support in the city.’
      • ‘Within each county there are also towns with mayors, city councils, police chiefs, and fire departments.’
      • ‘The third tier of government, municipal councils, has an electoral system which varies from state to state.’
    2. 1.2British [as modifier]Denoting housing provided by a local council at a subsidized rent.
      ‘a council flat’
      • ‘Most recently I wrote about council housing, or rather the lack of it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On Sunday a rebel motion on council housing transfer policy was backed on a show of hands.’
      • ‘Many opted to stay, moving into new Home Housing properties as their council homes were demolished.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She would like to speak to any youngster, whether living at home, in private rent or council accommodation.’
      • ‘It does indeed have an excellent record for providing council housing services.’
      • ‘Since 1980, council housing has been sold at a heavy discount.’
      • ‘They also want a restriction on the sale of council homes to buyers who want them only as holiday cottages.’
      • ‘Without the alternative of new council housing for rent, record numbers are now homeless and in temporary flats and slum hotels.’
      • ‘As they cannot afford to buy, they will be forced into rented council housing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dwindling demand for council housing means there are about 3,000 empty properties in the city.’
      • ‘Part of the property could be used for council housing and social housing.’
      • ‘Staffing for the new services will be provided from all seven council homes.’
      • ‘He was exposed to asbestos dust when working as a joiner in the 1970s on the construction of council housing.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3An ecclesiastical assembly.
      • ‘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 is exactly the reason why the Jerusalem council was called or convened.’
      • ‘Various ecumenical councils were convened where the bishops from different regions met and discussed liturgical and doctrinal matters.’
      • ‘Before deciding to accept, he conferred with his synod council.’
      • ‘It acquires the status of canon law in a series of three church councils in the sixth and seventh centuries.’
      • ‘Prior to the council, the diaconate was generally a transitional office on the way to priestly ordination.’
      • ‘They may not want to create a visible and abrupt rupture from the changes put into motion by the council and Pope Paul VI.’
      • ‘Most of the Reformed churches would accept the teachings of the ecumenical councils of the first millennium.’
      • ‘Changes adopted by the council will be considered by the 2005 Churchwide Assembly.’
      • ‘The council represents 19 denominations at the state capital, mostly on social issues.’
      • ‘The council is the church's supreme court, a nine-member panel that at times has more power than the Council of Bishops.’
      • ‘In 416 Augustine and his African bishops convened two diocesan councils to condemn him and Celestius, another Celt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So it seems the plenary council and synod proposals have been put on a back burner.’
      • ‘Synod councils can send recommendations to the Church Council before its April meeting.’
      • ‘This pattern continued in the early ecumenical councils, especially Nicaea.’
      • ‘The council could have communicated the polemical aspects of the Gospels and the facts of modern Scripture research.’
      • ‘Begin with a 45-minute conversation with your congregational board or council.’
      • ‘The synod, like a general council, however, would have no authority over the pope and no right to reverse his decisions.’
    4. 1.4A meeting for consultation or advice.
      ‘that evening, she held a family council’
      • ‘Call a family council at some other time to work out such problems.’
      • ‘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.’


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.