Council vs. Counsel: What’s The Difference?

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Counsel vs. Council

Have you ever been confused about the different spellings between the word counsel and council in English? Or perhaps you are just curious and want to learn more to ensure you are using these easily confused words correctly. This article will teach you everything that you might want on how to use these homonyms or homophones.

What Is the Definition of the Words Council and Counsel?


  • Noun
    • an assembly of people summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or legal advice.
    • a body of persons specially designated or selected to act in an advisory, administrative, or legislative capacity:
      • the governor’s council on housing.
      • the United Nations Security Council. 
      • the local council members proposed a new city ordinance.
    • (in certain British colonies or dependencies) an executive or legislative body assisting the governor.
    • an ecclesiastical assembly for deciding matters of doctrine or discipline.
    • New Testament. the Sanhedrin or other authoritative body.


  • noun, plural
    • advice; opinion or instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another.
    • interchange of opinions as to future procedure; consultation; deliberation.
    • Law. (used with a singular or plural verb) the advocate or advocates engaged in the direction of a cause in court; a legal adviser or counselor:
    • Is counsel for the defense present?
    • deliberate purpose; plan; design.
    • Theology. one of the advisory declarations of Christ, considered by some Christians as not universally binding but as given for aid in attaining moral perfection.
    • Archaic. a private or secret opinion or purpose.
    • Obsolete. wisdom; prudence.
  • Verb (used with object), coun·seled, coun·sel·ing or (especially British) coun·selled, coun·sel·ling.
    • To give advice to; advise.
    • to urge the adoption of, as a course of action; recommend (a plan, policy, etc.):
    • He counseled patience during the crisis.
  • Verb (used without object), coun·seled, coun·sel·ing or (especially British) coun·selled, coun·sel·ling.
    • To give counsel or advice.
    • To get or take counsel or advice.

What Is the Difference Between Council and Counsel?

These words have different meanings. Council is a noun that describes a gathering or group of people assembled to offer advice. Counsel can either be used as a noun or a verb. It means to give advice or can be used to mean advice when used as a noun.

Synonyms of Council and Counsel

Counsel – recommendation, suggestion, lawyer, attorney; solicitor, barrister.

Council – gathering, gang, committee, ring, conference, confab, synod, board, convention, body, parliament, assembly, conclave, congress, convocation, powwow, diet, cabinet, congregation, mob

Examples of the Words in Context




Now you are no doubt an expert on using the correct use of council and counsel and hopefully also took away a lot more about the words. Next time you need to write a comparison, you will be well prepared.