Primarily, a place of standing or staying together; hence, any solemn assembly or council.
- Roman Catholic Church An assembly of cardinals presided over by the pope for the solemn promulgation of papal acts, such as the canonization of a saint.
- A governing body of a local congregation in certain Reformed churches.
- A court appointed to regulate ecclesiastical affairs in Lutheran state churches.
- An Anglican diocesan court presided over by a bishop's chancellor or commissary.
- The meeting of a consistory.
- A council; a tribunal.