Difference Between Council and Counsel

People often confuse or interchange the words ‘Council’ and ‘Counsel’. However, it is essential to understand that the two words might be similar in pronunciation but are very different in meaning.


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Miscommunication can occur if people interchange these while interacting, and the scenario can lead to considerable confusion too.

Key Takeaways

  1. Council refers to a group of people who meet to discuss and make decisions, while counsel refers to legal advice or guidance provided by a professional.
  2. Council can refer to a governmental body or an advisory group, while lawyers or other legal professionals usually provide counsel.
  3. Despite their similar spelling, council, and counsel are pronounced differently and have distinct meanings.

Council vs Counsel

The difference between council and counsel is that “council” is a noun, and “counsel” is not. It means a group of people consulting upon something or some issue. To put it in simpler words, it is a committee that makes decisions or gives advice. Counsel is used as both a verb and a noun, depending on the context of the sentence.

Council vs Counsel

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Counsel indicates the action of advising someone over something. When used in a sentence, it means advising or guiding someone, helping them pave the right path for themselves.

This word is commonly used to give someone their opinion on social or personal problems.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonCouncilCounsel
DefinitionCouncil is a group of people who come together for any particular task, like giving advice or consulting.Counsel means showing someone where to head; it is the advice given.
SimilarAn advisory body, Consulting panel.Opinion, instruction, advice.
Part of speechNounVerb and noun
No. of persons includedMore than oneOne or can be more than one.
ExamplesI need a council to select my college.I counsel him about psychology.
Ram asked to meet a council to discuss his ideas about our new project.The government has started to give counsel to our business.


What is Council?

Council is a panel of persons who give advice. It can also be referred to as a committee that discusses, recommends, and gives counsel to a particular person or company.

Nowadays, there are various councils, such as the student council, state council, bank council, etc.

To put it in simpler words, the purpose of any council is to address the problems and give a direction to the right path.

For example, if there is a student council, it will advise on the best college suitable for the student.

On the other hand, if it is a business council, it will advise any problem the company is facing and take the company’s stakes high.

There are a lot of legal councils too, and their function is to consult the public and solve their problems by deliberating on them. 

Some of the councils present are:

Municipal council- It works as a local government.

Labour council- It works for the labourers providing them with a solution on how to make their work more effective economically, productively, etc.

National security council- It gives instructions on how to deal with the enemies and friends of our nation.

Town council- This type of council’s work is to ensure that the town is clean, getting proper water facilities, electricity, etc.

Examples :

  1. Shreya needs a council to opt for her carrier.
  2. The state council hasn’t been working correctly for the past few months.

The council meeting for my house is tonight.


What is Counsel?

‘Counsel’ is the word for advice or to give an opinion. It is also referred to as legal advice.

VHGAs, per the bible, it signifies ‘the action plan of something.’ To have counsel implies getting a way to go forward with something you are confused about with help from someone.

This title is often used in the replacement of the lawyer. This is because a lawyer also advises any legal action.

The counsel word is associated with helping others to conclude any solution or helping someone with your opinion or advisory

We can understand its meaning better with some examples :

  1. The counsel which he gave to me regarding my house worked.
  2. I’m afraid I have to disagree with the counsel of my cousin about psychology.
  3. He asked me for some counsel In finding suitable land. 

Main Differences Between Council and Counsel

  1. Council is a group of people consulting upon something in the manner of advising something, while counsel is the advice given. 
  2. The council can only be used as a noun, whereas the counsel can be used as a verb and a noun.
  3. Both of their origins are from a Latin word in the early 1600s. Both of the words are used interchangeably. However, it was eventually concluded that the council’s word would be for a group of people to advise. 
  4. It is known that the council is just for the advice relatable, but counsel can also be related to the opinions given, instructions, etc.
Difference Between Council and Counsel
  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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