noun \ˈkän(t)-səl\

: a government official whose job is to live in a foreign country and protect and help the citizens of his or her own country who are traveling, living, or doing business there

: either one of two chief officials of the ancient Roman republic who were elected every year

Full Definition of CONSUL

a :  either of two annually elected chief magistrates of the Roman republic
b :  one of three chief magistrates of the French republic from 1799 to 1804
:  an official appointed by a government to reside in a foreign country to represent the commercial interests of citizens of the appointing country
con·sul·ar \-s(ə-)lər\ adjective
con·sul·ship \-səl-ˌship\ noun

Origin of CONSUL

Middle English, from Latin; perhaps akin to Latin consulere to consult
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the Roman republic, either of two annually elected chief magistrates. The consuls had sacred rights and near-absolute authority. They were nominated by the Senate and elected by the popular assembly; each could veto the other's decisions. As heads of state, they commanded the army, presided over the Senate and assemblies and acted on their decrees, and handled foreign affairs. At the end of his one-year term, a consul was generally appointed to serve as governor of a province. The office continued in weaker form under the empire.


Next Word in the Dictionary: consulage
Previous Word in the Dictionary: consuetudo
All Words Near: consul

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up consul? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).