caucus

noun
cau·​cus | \ ˈkȯ-kəs How to pronounce caucus (audio) \

Definition of caucus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy a presidential caucus also : a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause

caucus

verb
caucused; caucusing; caucuses

Definition of caucus (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to meet in or hold a caucus The committee caucused to select the most promising candidates.

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Did You Know?

Noun

In February of 1763, John Adams reported that the Boston caucus club, a group of politically active city elders, would meet in the garret of Tom Dawes to choose Assessors, Collectors, Wardens, Fire Wards, and Representatives. He wrote that at the meetings, those present would smoke tobacco till you [could not] see from one end of the garret to the other. A similarly opaque smoke screen seems to shroud the history of the word caucus. Linguists can see that it is clearly an Americanism; Adams's use is the first known to link the word to such a political meeting. Beyond that, details are uncertain, but some scholars think caucus may have developed from an Algonquian term for a group of elders, leaders, or advisers.

Examples of caucus in a Sentence

Noun the National Women's Political Caucus Verb Democrats caucused last week to choose their candidates.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Among the candidates Karantonis beat in a Democratic Party caucus was Chanda Choun, 33, a military veteran who works in cybersecurity. Washington Post, 2 June 2021 After debating for several hours on a day that was interrupted by a closed-door caucus on other bills, the House voted by 117 to 28 with six lawmakers absent. Christopher Keating, courant.com, 24 May 2021 Some members including McCarthy, the House's No. 2 Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who chairs the chamber's largest GOP caucus, the Republican Study Committee, all have come out against Cheney. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, 12 May 2021 In 2017, she was elected co-chair of the Tuesday Group (since renamed the Republican Governance Group), a caucus of moderate, centrist House Republicans. Arkansas Online, 9 May 2021 The obsession over how many supporters’ email addresses are in the campaign database, as though that corresponds to the clout inside a caucus. Philip Elliott, Time, 30 Apr. 2021 As the leader of a minority caucus, Mr. McCarthy has been less concerned with passing signature legislation or advancing any transformational policy initiatives. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2021 During a closed-door luncheon hosted by the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House conservatives, Pompeo was peppered with questions about China. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, 25 Apr. 2021 The Hamilton County Democratic Party will hold a caucus of precinct officials to elect her replacement. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The joint statement from the Democratic senators and two independent senators who caucus with Democrats signals the growing concern in the Senate over the escalation of violence in the Middle East. Ryan Nobles, CNN, 17 May 2021 And these justices were confirmed by a Senate that has become skewed so radically in favor of electing Republicans that the 50 senators who caucus with the Democrats represent about 41.5 million more Americans than the 50 Republican senators do. Paul F. Campos, Star Tribune, 16 Mar. 2021 Usually, the Senate needs 60 votes to surpass the filibuster, meaning 10 Republicans need to join every Democrat and the independents who caucus with Democrats to pass legislation. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2021 Since the independents caucus with the Democrats, Democrats control the chamber. Dallas News, 15 Feb. 2021 The Senate is split 50-50, with Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them having a tiebreaker in Vice President Kamala Harris. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, 4 Mar. 2021 Passage is possible if the 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with them all vote for it, with a tie-breaking assist from Harris. oregonlive, 6 Mar. 2021 Passage is possible if the 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with them all vote for it, with a tie-breaking assist from Vice President Kamala Harris. Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, 5 Mar. 2021 All 48 Democrats, including Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both D-Mich., voted in favor of her nomination as did the two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 26 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caucus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caucus

Noun

1800, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caucus

Noun

origin unknown

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caucus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caucus. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for caucus

caucus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of caucus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a meeting of members of a political party for the purpose of choosing candidates for an election
: a group of people (such as members of the U.S. Congress) who meet to discuss a particular issue or to work together for a shared, usually political goal

caucus

verb

English Language Learners Definition of caucus (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to meet in a caucus

caucus

noun
cau·​cus | \ ˈkȯ-kəs How to pronounce caucus (audio) \

Legal Definition of caucus

: a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy

Other Words from caucus

caucus intransitive verb

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