1. An ecclesiastic council or meeting to consult on church matters.
Synods are of four kinds: 1. General, or ecumenical, which are compopsed of bishops from different nations; commonly called general council. 2. National, composed of bishops of one nation only. 3. Provincial, in which the bishops of only one province meet; called also convocations. 4. Diocesan, a synod in which the bishop of the diocese or his representative presides. Among Presbyterians, a synod is composed of several adjoining presbyteries. The members are the ministers and a ruling elder from each parish.
2. An assembly or council having civil authority; a legislative body. It hath in solemn synods been decreed, Both by the Syracusians and ourselves, To admit no traffic to our adverse towns. (Shak) Parent of gods and men, propitious Jove! And you, bright synod of the powers above. (Dryden)
3. (Science: astronomy) A conjunction of two or more of the heavenly bodies.
Origin: L. Synodus, Gr. A meeting; with – a way; cf. AS. Sino, seno, F. Synode, both from the Latin.