syn·​od ˈsi-nəd How to pronounce synod (audio)
 also  -ˌnäd
: an ecclesiastical governing or advisory council: such as
: an assembly of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church
: the governing assembly of an Episcopal province
: a Presbyterian governing body ranking between the presbytery and the general assembly
: a regional or national organization of Lutheran congregations
: the ecclesiastical district governed by a synod
sə-ˈnä-dᵊl How to pronounce synod (audio)

Examples of synod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At previous synods, women were only allowed more marginal roles of observers or experts, literally seated in the last row of the audience hall while the bishops and cardinals took the front rows and voted. Nicole Winfield and Trisha Thomas, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Oct. 2023 In the Polish Pope’s world view, anti-Communism and traditionalism were inextricably combined; for him, renewal had spread out of control, and the regional synods were part of the problem. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2023 Vatican summit tackles women’s ordination with a nod from Pope Francis Vatican synods — held in the past with only bishops and cardinals as voting members — tend to convene two to three times per decade. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2023 Inside the synod auditorium, laypeople sat at round tables alongside cardinals and bishops, rather than in the upper back row of the Vatican's audience hall as in previous synods. Nicole Winfield The Associated Press, Arkansas Online, 5 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for synod 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'synod.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English sinod, from Late Latin synodus, from Late Greek synodos, from Greek, meeting, assembly, from syn- + hodos way, journey

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of synod was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near synod

Cite this Entry

“Synod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


syn·​od ˈsin-əd How to pronounce synod (audio)
: a meeting of church leaders
: the governing or advisory council of a church
synodal adjective
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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