Definition of synod in US English:



  • 1An assembly of the clergy and sometimes also the laity in a diocese or other division of a particular Church.

    ‘the deanery synod’
    • ‘They have called for a response from Bulgaria's orthodox church synod.’
    • ‘To everyone's disappointment, the episcopal synod has remained as it was created: a forum where issues are permitted to be discussed, but never decided.’
    • ‘Suppression of the movement in Bulgaria intensified after a 1211 synod condemned the heresy.’
    • ‘The discussion of new forms for episcopal collegiality and accountability, such as a plenary council or a special synod of bishops, was put off.’
    • ‘His synod was also the site of a church's unsanctioned ordination of an openly gay pastor earlier this year.’
    • ‘In occasional diocesan synods, they harangued their clergy and issued reforming regulations.’
    • ‘It was the minority view that the appeal to the fifth commandment instead of to Chapter 31 of the Westminster Confession (which defines and limits the powers of synods and councils) was incorrect.’
    • ‘And before they vote at church synods on such issues as allowing divorcees to remarry at Anglican altars they must have watched it for six months, he declares.’
    • ‘A synod held at Hertford in 672 established the first basic canons for Church government.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, in 1910 the synod of the diocese reaffirmed their commitment to completing St. Alban's.’
    • ‘This isn't to say that synods, canon laws and rubrics don't play an important role in our common life.’
    • ‘The issues were hot topics at the Anglican synod in Brisbane last month.’
    • ‘The activities at parish, classical, and provincial level would be co-ordinated by a national synod and by Parliament.’
    • ‘He made regular provincial visitations and held frequent synods.’
    • ‘The current bishop still remained committed to the project, but the synod of the diocese voted against continuing construction.’
    • ‘While clergy and lay members of the national church voted to hand the question of blessing same sex relationships to a theological committee, the Diocese of Toronto is set to debate the matter at its diocesan synod this fall.’
    • ‘There is, for example, a serious move by some bishops to have the June meeting consider a proposal for convening something like an extraordinary synod of American bishops.’
    • ‘Nor would bishops, synods or candidacy committees be required to consider partnered gay or lesbian candidates for ministry.’
    • ‘Throughout its history, however, all branches of the Christian church have summoned more local councils, synods, and assemblies, to debate and to rule on matters of current concern.’
    legislative assembly, legislature, parliament, congress, senate, council
    View synonyms
  • 2A Presbyterian ecclesiastical court above the presbyteries and subject to the General Assembly.


Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek sunodos ‘meeting’, from sun- ‘together’ + hodos ‘way’.