con·​sis·​to·​ry | \ kən-ˈsi-st(ə-)rē How to pronounce consistory (audio) \
plural consistories

Definition of consistory

1 : a solemn assembly : council
2 : a church tribunal or governing body: such as
a : a solemn meeting of Roman Catholic cardinals convoked and presided over by the pope
b : a church session in some Reformed churches
3 : the organization that confers the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry usually from the 19th to the 32nd inclusive also : a meeting of such an organization

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Other Words from consistory

consistorial \ ˌkän-​si-​ˈstȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce consistory (audio) \ adjective

Examples of consistory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web March 24, 2006 - Holds his first consistory and formally elevates 15 men to the level of cardinal. CNN, 20 Jan. 2022 In Saturday's consistory, Brunei and Rwanda got their first cardinals. NBC News, 28 Nov. 2020 The cardinals were installed in a ceremony, known as a consistory, that was markedly slimmed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. NBC News, 28 Nov. 2020 This will be the seventh time that Pope Francis has convened a consistory, as the ceremony is known. Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2020 Archbishop Gregory is one of 13 to be elevated to the rank at a surprise consistory, or ceremony. Kelly Murray, CNN, 25 Oct. 2020 With Saturday’s consistory, Francis will have named 52% of the voting-age cardinals. Nicole Winfield, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Oct. 2019 With Saturday’s consistory, Francis will have named 52 percent of the voting-age cardinals., 6 Oct. 2019 Martin was in Rome for the plenary meeting of the Vatican’s communications department, as well as for the consistory Saturday to name 13 new cardinals. Nicole Winfield, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consistory.' 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 consistory

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for consistory

Middle English consistorie "diocesan court, tribunal, session of a tribunal, council chamber," borrowed from Anglo-French consistorie, consistoire "court of law, diocesan court, convocation of cardinals," borrowed from Medieval Latin consistōrium "place of assembly, council, ecclesiastical court," going back to Late Latin, "place of assembly, habitation, privy council of the emperor," from Latin consistere "to come to a halt, remain at the same level, take up a position, continue in a place, reside, live" + -ōrium -ory entry 1 — more at consist entry 1

Note: The predominant Middle English form is constorie (with numerous variants, as cunstorie, constri), resulting from syncope of consistorie with original stress on the first syllable.

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Time Traveler for consistory

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The first known use of consistory was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Consistory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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