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


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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 These corporate consiglieres, who advise on mergers and underwrite securities, oversee a venture-capital portfolio worth several hundred million dollars, according to people familiar with the matter. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs Bankers Moonlight as Venture Capitalists," 17 June 2018 Anupam Kher wrote on Twitter, making sure in his tweet to thank God, the Indian government, BJP prime minister Narendra Modi, and Modi’s sinister consigliere, home minister Amit Shah. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "India’s Looming Ethno-Nationalist Catastrophe," 7 Aug. 2019 On the whole, apart from a brief glimmer of promise late last year when Congress wrested three Hindi heartland states from the BJP, the Nehru-Gandhi scion has proved no match for Mr. Modi and his chief consigliere, BJP President Amit Shah. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "It’s Game Over for the Gandhis as a Political Dynasty Dies," 11 July 2019 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

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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Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for consigliere

The first known use of consigliere was in 1963

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consigliere Encyclopedia article about consigliere

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