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)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The pope did meet with the bishops on Thursday, when the conversation didn’t focus on the German synod, Bishop Bätzing said. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 19 Nov. 2022 Will the synod lead to big changes, like women or married priests? Peter Weber, The Week, 11 Oct. 2022 The proposal garnered the required two-thirds of the synod as a whole, with 159 in favor, 33 against and 4 abstaining. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2022 Francis named Cardinal Hummes in 2020 to lead the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon region, which is fostered by the debates of the synod. Mauricio Savarese,, 4 July 2022 Leaders of the synod say that dealing with the crisis requires considering major changes to Catholic life. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 The synod was scheduled to vote Saturday on another draft statement calling for the institution of formal blessings for unmarried couples, both straight and gay, in the liturgy of the German church. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 Though the organizations are closely affiliated, a Portland attorney representing the extension fund told The Oregonian/OregonLive last week there is no deal currently for the synod to give up its right of reentry. oregonlive, 14 Mar. 2022 Synodal Way is headed toward a global synod in Rome next year, where other nations may decide to follow its path. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'synod.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 20 Mar. 2023.

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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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