• WordNet 3.6
    • n consistory a church tribunal or governing body
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Consistory A church tribunal or governing body.
    • Consistory A civil court of justice.
    • Consistory (R. C. Ch) An assembly of prelates; a session of the college of cardinals at Rome. "Pius was then hearing of causes in consistory ."
    • a Consistory Of the nature of, or pertaining to, a consistory. "To hold consistory session."
    • Consistory Primarily, a place of standing or staying together; hence, any solemn assembly or council. "To council summons all his mighty peers,
      Within thick clouds and dark tenfold involved,
      A gloomy consistory ."
    • Consistory (Eng. Ch) The spiritual court of a diocesan bishop held before his chancellor or commissioner in his cathedral church or elsewhere.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n consistory A place of meeting; especially, a council-house or place of justice, or the assembly which convenes in it; under the Roman emperors, a privy council.
    • n consistory Hence An ecclesiastical or spiritual court, or the place where such a court is held. Before the Reformation every bishop had his consistory, composed of some of the leading clergy of the diocese, presided over by his chancellor. In the Anglican church every bishop has still his consistory court, held before his chancellor or commissary in the cathedral church, or some other convenient place, for the trial of ecclesiastical causes.
    • n consistory In the Reformed (Dutch) Ch., the lowest ecclesiastical court, having charge of the government of the local church, and corresponding to the session of the Presbyterian Church. In the Reformed (French) Ch., a higher court, corresponding to a presbytery.
    • n consistory In the Roman Catholic Church, an ecclesiastical senate, consisting of the whole body of cardinals, which deliberates upon the affairs of the church. It is presided over by the pope, or by the dean of the College of Cardinals. The ordinary meetings of the consistory are secret; but public consistories are held from time to time as occasion may require, and are attended by other prelates than the cardinals; the resolutions arrived at in secret session are announced in them.
    • n consistory In the Lutheran state churches, a board of clerical officers, either national or provincial, usually appointed by the sovereign, charged with various matters of ecclesiastical administration.
    • consistory Belonging to or of the nature of a consistory.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Consistory properly a place of assembly: the particular place where the privy-council of the Roman emperor met, the council itself: an assembly or council: a spiritual or ecclesiastical court in the R.C. Church, consisting of the pope and cardinals, and determining all such matters as the appointment of cardinals, bishops, &c.; in the Lutheran Church, exercising a supervision over religion and education, over the clergy, schoolmasters, and theological candidates; in the Reformed Church, the kirk-session, or the presbytery
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. consistorium, a place of assembly, the place where the emperor's council met, fr. consistere,: cf. F. consistoire, It. consistorio,. See Consist
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. consistĕrecon, together, sistĕre, to stand.


In literature:

In the consistory held March 15, 1875, Pope Pius IX.
"Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886" by Various
In the Canton of Vauvert, where there was a consistory church, 80,000 francs were extorted.
"Fox's Book of Martyrs" by John Foxe
A consistory of elders and deacons was established.
"The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by Henry Martyn Baird
Most of the consistories summoned the clergymen to labor to secure a vote in favor of the king.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864" by Various
The rest were tried in this very chapel, then (and still occasionally) used as a Consistory Court.
"Bell's Cathedrals: Southwark Cathedral" by George Worley
In one or other of these four the Consistory Court, according to Wren, was held.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul" by Arthur Dimock
On January 2, 1821, the property was finally deeded to the consistory.
"The Kirk on Rutgers Farm" by Frederick Brückbauer
At the sight of the jumping and sprawling fellow, Herr Zoellner, councillor of the consistory, almost burst with laughter.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
The Bishop of Ripon has, of course, his Consistory court, which is held at the Cathedral.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon" by Cecil Walter Charles Hallett
A brisk correspondence went on between the members of the league and the consistories.
"History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain." by William H. Prescott

In news:

With Nov 20 consistory creating 24 cardinals, he will have named a total of 62 princes of the Church.