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 consigliere (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

Synonyms for consigliere


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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 One year after the Derby, Bill Belichick brought Najarian to New England and Berj has served as Belichick’s consigliere for 21 seasons. Globe Staff,, 15 July 2022 That adrenaline boost from the critical American marketplace was accompanied by savvy programming picks from Asia, a special interest of the late, long-behind-the-Cannes scenes film pro/cinema consigliere Pierre Rissient. Steven Gaydos, Variety, 12 May 2022 Hilary, their eldest daughter, is a food influencer, and Geoffrey, previously the family’s butler, is now a mysterious consigliere to Uncle Phil. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2022 Sandra Yi Sencindiver joins as Enjoiner Rue, a former courtesan who became the politically savvy consigliere to Queen Sareth. Nick Romano,, 1 Feb. 2022 THE NEXT FEW years may be hard for Willy, my friend and street-motorsport consigliere. Dan Neil, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2022 His work over the course of the Trump presidency, though dressed in the trappings of cable news, was indistinguishable from that of a White House consigliere or propagandist. Washington Post, 4 Jan. 2022 Soon enough Maurizio is back in the mix, with Patrizia as his loyal consigliere and Lady Macbeth. Leah Greenblatt,, 22 Nov. 2021 The best attorneys are not only your legal eagle, but also your consigliere. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of consigliere was in 1963

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consider oneself lucky/fortunate



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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consigliere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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