Difference Between Council and Counsel

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 21, 2022


Difference Between Council and Counsel Difference Between Council and Counsel

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People often get the words "Council" and "Counsel" mixed up or use them in the wrong context. However, it is essential to be aware that even though the two terms have a similar sound, their meanings couldn't be more unlike one another. When individuals exchange these when engaging with one another, miscommunication may result, and the situation can also lead to a great deal of perplexity.

To be able to differentiate between these two terms, you must first be familiar with their definitions. A council is the advisory or administrative body of any organization or group that is established to fulfill a specific function, whereas a committee is a committee that is formed to address a specific issue. On the other hand, counsel is defined as advice that is provided by an authority on a certain subject to address problems.

Council vs Counsel

The fact that "council" is a noun but "counsel" is not a noun is the primary distinction between the two terms. In its most basic sense, it refers to a collection of individuals who are providing advice or input on something or some matter. To put it more simply, it is a committee that discusses issues and either decides on them or offers advice. Depending on the circumstances of the phrase, the word "counsel" may function either as a verb or a noun.

The term "counsel" refers to the process of advising another person about anything. In the context of a phrase, it refers to the process of offering counsel or direction to another person to assist them in finding the way that is best for them.

It is usual practice to utilize this term while expressing one's viewpoint to another individual on societal or personal issues.

Counsel and council are indeed confusing terms because they are pronounced the same but spelled differently. Another aspect contributing to this confusion is the fact that both words are linked with the act of offering advice. Advice, someone who provides advice or direction, as well as the verb denoting such activity, is referred to as counsel. A council, on the other hand, is the term for a gathering or organization that provides advice. There is no tried-and-true mnemonic that can be used to remember the difference between these terms. It could be helpful to tie the term commitment to the second c in council, and the verb advise might be related to the s in counsel; nevertheless, the fact that both words pertain to offering advice or advising is what causes the mistake. The best advice, in our opinion, is to look up the meaning of words in the dictionary.

Difference Between Council and Counsel in Tabular Form

Table: Council vs Counsel
Parameter of Comparison
The term "council" refers to a group of individuals who assemble for the purpose of performing a certain duty, such as providing guidance or advising.
Advice is delivered in the form of counsel, which literally means "to show someone a road where to go."
pertaining to a consulting panel or advisory committee.
An opinion, a directive, or some guidance.
Part of speech
Verb and noun
No. of persons included
Multiple instances
One or more than one is a possibility.
For example,
  • I can't choose my college without the help of a committee.
  • Ram submitted a request to meet with the advisory council so that he could share his thoughts on our next venture.
  • I give him advice on psychological matters.
  • Our company has just been the recipient of advice from the government.

What is Council?

A council is an advisory body consisting of a group of individuals. It is also possible to refer to it as a committee that confers with a specific individual or business to deliberate, make recommendations, and provide advice. There are several distinct councils in existence today, such as the student council, the state council, the bank council, and many more.

To put it in more layman's terms, the function of any council is to provide solutions to issues and point the way toward the best course of action. For instance, if there is a student council, it will guide the student on which institution would be the most appropriate for them.

If, on the other hand, it is a business council, then it will assist with any difficulty that the firm is now experiencing while also increasing the stakes for the corporation. In addition, there are several legal councils, the purpose of which is to confer with the general public to find solutions to the challenges faced by the people.


  • This evening is the quarterly meeting of the council.
  • Do they serve as the glue that holds the Council together?                   
  • The three oldest sons who had served on the Council had all passed away.

As was previously said, the council is a noun and nothing more. It is a designation that may be used by many different groups of individuals who have been elected or nominated to create rules, regulations, or decisions, as well as organizations that give advice, guidance, or consultation. A gathering of a council is another meaning of this term. Although it is often used without a modifier, such as in "a council on low-income housing," it is also commonly used in conjunction with a modifier. For example, "city council," "student council," and "security council" are all instances of councils that may be linked with a modifier. On the other hand, it may be used attributively, which means it can be used as an adjective to modify nouns. For example, "a council member" or "a council meeting" both utilize this use. A person who has been elected to serve on a council is referred to as a councilor; nevertheless, councilors do not participate in activities related to counseling but rather counseling.

A council is a collection of persons who have been assembled to provide advice, consult on an issue, or deliberate on something. Quite often, these gatherings are called to order to address administrative or legislative concerns. Contrary to advise, which may also function as a verb, the council can only ever be used in the noun form.

What is Counsel?

The term "counsel" may be used interchangeably with the words "advice" and "opinion." In certain circles, it is also known as legal guidance. According to the Holy Bible, this phrase translates to "the action plan of anything." It is possible to get clarity on a matter in which you are befuddled by enlisting the assistance of a trusted advisor who can provide you with advice. This title is often used instead of the more common term "attorney." This is because a lawyer's role also includes providing advice in any legal action.

The term "counsel" refers to the act of assisting other people in arriving at a conclusion or providing assistance to another person by providing your opinion or advice. If we look at several instances, we can have a better grasp of what it means:

  • The counsel of a psychiatrist is necessary for this individual.
  • As a scientist, if I don't know the solution to a question, I counsel those who have better brains.
  • In one important regard, Mallet provided him in those early days with good counsel.

The word "counsel" may be used either as a noun or a verb. As a noun, it is used to refer to the act of giving advice, instructions, or recommendations to another person ("The king sought counsel from his advisors"), as well as to a person who provides expert or professional advice or services, or more specifically to a lawyer who represents a party in a court of law and advises that party. A person who gives advice, particularly personal direction or education, is termed a counselor (for example, a school counselor, a camp counselor, or a marital counselor), which implies that the derivation counselor is also a synonym of the word counsel. A person's guarded ideas or intentions are sometimes referred to as nominal advice, but this use is far less prevalent. This meaning, which appears most often in written works of literature, frequently comes after the word "keep." "The players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all," which is a line from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, is an example of the phrase "to keep (one's own) counsel," which means to not share your thoughts with other people. Another example of this phrase comes from the English novelist George Eliot, who wrote in Middlemarch: "Standish will keep our counsel, and the news will be old before it's known."

The meaning of the term "advice" may be interpreted in a variety of ways. In a broad sense, counsel might be defined as guidance or instruction. On the other hand, it could also include an opinion or any kind of consideration towards a subject. In the context of the law, it might mean either a legal advisor or an advocate. When used as a verb, the meaning of counsel is to advise.

Main Differences Between Council and Counsel in Points

  • The term "counsel" refers to the guidance that is provided by an individual or group of individuals, whereas the term "council" refers to a group of people who consult about something in the manner of offering advice for anything.
  • The term "council" may be used solely as a noun, but "counsel" is interchangeable with both "counseling" and "council."
  • Both of their roots may be traced back to the early 1600s as well as to a Latin term. Both of these terms are often considered synonymous with one another. However, in the end, it was decided that the advice given by the council word should come from several different persons.
  • It is common knowledge that the council exists only to dispense advice; nevertheless, counsel may also refer to the expression of views, directives, and other forms of guidance.
  • The word "council" is used to refer to a group of persons who have gathered together to discuss or make a decision about a particular matter. On the other hand, "to counsel" is shorthand for the process of providing guidance or direction to a person.
  • The word "council" is used to refer to an advisory body or assembly, while the word "counsel" may refer to either the act of giving advice or the person who does so, as well as the verb "to counsel."
  • A "council" is an official organization that deliberates, such as the Council on Foreign Relations; the rest are "counsels," such as your lawyer or advice. A "council" is an official organization that deliberates, such as the Council on Foreign Relations. A consul is a local representative that is appointed by a foreign government.
  • Counsel is spelled with an s, whereas council is spelled with a c. You may easily remember that council and committee are interchangeable by relating the second c in council to the c in committee.


It is a known truth that the routes traveled by the council and counsel will always intersect with one another. However, we can still have a contemporary solution to this protracted difficulty, and that is that the end of the council it's,' which is similar to the word sell,' which is also a verb. This allows us to have a solution that is both current and effective. This is the most effective way to commit the difference to memory and become more proficient with our grammar.

There is a phonetic relationship between the terms counsel and council. This indicates that they have the same pronunciation but different spelling and even different specs, yet they have the same pronunciation. After seeing every possible match and mismatch concerning these two terms, it is possible to memorize a specific line to ensure that one does not misunderstand these two words in the future. This is only one illustration: Regarding the legal documents, Leela needs some advice from a counselor for her family's sake.

Additional clarification is provided in the following phrases to help you differentiate between the terms council and counsel:

  • I skipped getting advice from my family and went straight to a council instead.
  • I approached the head of the school and requested some counsel on the trajectory of the field of science.


  1. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1111/j.1475-6757.2003.00029.x
  2. https://library.seg.org/doi/abs/10.1190/tle36040288.1


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"Difference Between Council and Counsel." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-council-and-counsel-590>.

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