Council vs. Counsel | Difference, Examples & Quiz
Counsel and council are pronounced the same, but they have different (though related) meanings.
- Counsel is a verb meaning “advise” and a noun meaning “advice” or “instruction.” It can also be used as a noun to refer to a lawyer.
- Council is a noun referring to an advisory or legislative body of people.
|Examples: Counsel in a sentence
|Examples: Council in a sentence
|Amara counsels people who are grieving.
|The theater is funded by the national arts council.
|John sought counsel from his defense attorney.
|The council is responsible for the upkeep of the public park.
What does counsel mean?
Counsel is a verb referring to the act of advising someone.
It can also be used as a noun to mean “formal advice” or to refer to a legal advisor.
What does council mean?
Council is a collective noun that refers to a group of people acting as an advisory or legislative body. It’s commonly used before other nouns (e.g., “member,” “housing”) as an attributive noun (i.e., a noun used like an adjective).
Worksheet: Council vs. counsel
You can test your understanding of the difference between “council” and “counsel” with the worksheet below. Fill in either “council” or “counsel” in each sentence.
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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
Frequently asked questions
- What is a synonym for “counsel”?
There are numerous synonyms and near synonyms for the two meanings of counsel:
Advise (verb) Advice (noun) Direct Direction Guide Guidance Instruct Instruction
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