the premises officially occupied by a consul.
the position, work, authority, or term of service of a consul.
(often initial capital letter) a government by consuls, as in France from 1799 to 1804.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin consulātus, equivalent to consul consul + -ātus -ate3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
consulate (ˈkɒnsjʊlɪt)
1.  the business premises or residence of a consul
2.  government by consuls
3.  the office or period of office of a consul or consuls
4.  (often capital)
 a.  the government of France by the three consuls from 1799 to 1804
 b.  this period of French history
5.  (often capital)
 a.  the consular government of the Roman republic
 b.  the office or rank of a Roman consul

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "government of Rome by the Consuls," from L. consulatus, from consul (see consul). Also used in ref. to the consular government of France from 1799-1804. In ref. to the office of a modern consul, from 1702.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They all chose either white or yellow chrysanthemums, and they all had to queue up in the crowded hallway outside the consulate.
Applicants must apply at their local consulate or use a visa service.
Check first with the consulate of the country you are visiting to determine specific requirements relating to the certificate.
Consulate staff cannot schedule or confirm appointments.
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