COUNCIL, n. [L., to call, Gr. See Hold. This word is often confounded with counsel, with which it has no connection. Council is a collection or assembly.]1. An assembly of men summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation and advice.The chief priest and all the council sought false witness. Matthew 20. The kings of England were formerly assisted by a grand council or peers. The word is applicable to any body of men, appointed or convened for consultation and advice, in important affairs; as, a council of divines or clergymen, with their lay delegates; a council of war, consisting of the principal officers, to advise the commander in chief or admiral; a council of physicians, to consult and advise in difficult cases of disease.2. A body of men specially designated to advise a chief magistrate in the administration of the government, as in Great Britain.3. In some of the American states, a branch of the legislature, corresponding with the senate in other states, and called legislative council.4. An assembly of prelates and doctors, convened for regulating matters of doctrine an discipline in the church.5. Act of deliberation; consultation of a council.Common-Council of a city. In London, a court consisting of the lord mayor and aldermen in one house, and of representatives of the several wards, called common-council-men, in the other. But more generally the common-council is considered as the body of representatives of the citizens, as distinct from the mayor and aldermen. Thus in Connecticut, the cities are incorporated by the name of the The Mayor, Aldermen, Common-Council and Freemen, of the city of Hartford, New-Haven, &c.Ecumenical Council, in church history, a general council or assembly of prelates and doctors, representing the whole church; as the council of Nice, of Ephesus, and of Chalcedon.Privy Council, a select council for advising a king in the administration of the government.Aulic Council. [See Aulic.]
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