con·​sig·​li·​e·​re | \ kōn-(ˌ)sil-ˈye-re How to pronounce consigliere (audio) , -ˈyer-ē; kän-(ˌ)si-glē-ˈye-rā How to pronounce consigliere (audio) , -rē, -ˈyer\
plural consiglieri\ kōn-​(ˌ)sil-​ˈyer-​ē How to pronounce consiglieri (audio) ; kän-​(ˌ)si-​glē-​ˈye-​rē \ also consiglieres

Definition of consigliere

: a person who serves as an adviser or counselor to the leader of a criminal organization the consigliere of a Mafia family I remember both the book and movie [The Godfather] portrayed a sitdown of the dons. Everything was fine except for one thing—Don Corleone had an Irish consigliere. It could never happen.— Vincent Teresa also : someone (such as a powerful political consultant) who is being likened in some way to such an adviser He played a key role in his dad's 1988 campaign, acting as the family consigliere and learning the arts of war from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater. — David Hume Kennerly Bruce Lindsey has always been the most trusted White House consigliere, the go-to guy for putting fires out swiftly—and discreetly. — John Engen

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Synonyms for consigliere


adviser (also advisor), consultant, counsel, counselor (or counsellor)

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Consigliere and the Godfather

If you're a fan of The Godfather series of movies, the character Tom Hagen may have already come to mind. Hagen, the Corleones' family lawyer, is famously dismissed by the Don's successor and son Michael Corleone because he is not a "wartime consigliere." The word consigliere comes from Italian and has been a part our language since the 17th century; it was originally used of someone who served on a council in Italy. Currently, it is most commonly used to designate advisers to the Mafia—a use that first appeared in English in a document from a 1963 session of the U.S. Senate. It is also often used generally of a political or financial adviser, or any other trusted adviser for that matter.

Examples of consigliere in a Sentence

the President's trusted consigliere and chief political strategist

Recent Examples on the Web

Accompanying him were his cofounder and consigliere, Dustin Moskovitz, and a couple of interns. Adam Fisher, WIRED, "Sex, Beer, and Coding: Inside Facebook’s Wild Early Days," 10 July 2018 The indictment accuses Clark, who allegedly went by the pseudonyms Variety Jones, Cimon, and Plural of Mongoose in his role as Silk Road's consigliere, of crimes ranging from narcotics trafficking to money laundering. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "The Silk Road's Alleged Right-Hand Man Will Finally Face a US Court," 15 June 2018 Harbaugh parted ways this offseason with longtime offensive line coach and run-game consigliere Tim Drevno. Andy Staples,, "Shea Patterson's Eligibility Won't Fix All of Michigan's Problems," 27 Apr. 2018 Cohen has called himself Trump’s consigliere and is the most palpably moblike character in Trump’s orbit. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Michael Cohen and the Busting of the Trump Crime Family," 16 Apr. 2018 The idea came from Dederich’s consigliere, attorney Dan Garrett, who saw a benefit beyond the tax advantage: Being a religion might mean Synanon wouldn’t need to be licensed. Hillel Aron, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Story of This Drug Rehab-Turned-Violent Cult Is Wild, Wild Country-Caliber Bizarre," 23 Apr. 2018 Schreier has now served on the board for a decade and is one of Houston’s consiglieres. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "How Sequoia’s $2 billion Dropbox win became as big as it is," 23 Mar. 2018 There was an expectation in the market — an expectation created, in part, by Icahn’s own remarks — that, with Trump in the White House and Icahn playing consigliere, the rules were about to change, and not just at the EPA. Washington Post,, "Icahn denies he knew about Trump’s steel tariff announcement before dumping stocks," 8 Mar. 2018 There was an expectation in the market that, with Trump in the White House and Icahn playing consigliere, the rules were about to change, and not just at the Environmental Protection Agency. The Washington Post,, "Before Trump announced tariffs, ex-adviser dumped millions in steel-linked stock," 3 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consigliere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of consigliere

1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for consigliere

Italian, from consiglio advice, counsel, from Latin consilium — more at counsel

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Time Traveler for consigliere

The first known use of consigliere was in 1963

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consigliere

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consigliere Encyclopedia article about consigliere

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