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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for consigliere


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Thanks in part to his long term friend and consigliere, Ernie Land, the new DAL is structured to be conventionally tax compliant. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, 5 June 2021 Ordinary Angelenos have more nuanced views than activists and politicians, insists Christopher Hawthorne, who, as the city’s chief design officer, is Mayor Eric Garcetti’s architectural consigliere. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 26 May 2021 Adams was Belichick’s sounding board, confidant, and consigliere., 8 May 2021 With Trump out of office, Miller continues to moonlight as McCarthy’s consigliere, on a strictly volunteer basis, of course. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, 22 Apr. 2021 The once high-flying executive is suing longtime Trump consigliere Marc Kasowitz for talking him into taking a settlement deal that left him unable to defend his reputation. Tatiana Siegel, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2021 The longtime economic consigliere tried to blow up Biden's stimulus. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 5 Feb. 2021 So many ways in which Barr degraded his position to play the role of political hack and presidential consigliere rather than the chief law enforcement officer of the nation! Eric Zorn,, 15 Dec. 2020 Laura’s consigliere of choice is her dad Felix, wealthy art dealer, doting grandpa, friend to the working man, cad, rogue. Kyle Smith, National Review, 25 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About consigliere

Time Traveler for consigliere

Time Traveler

The first known use of consigliere was in 1963

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About consigliere

Statistics for consigliere

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consigliere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on consigliere

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!