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 That means McConnell can only afford to lose one more senator in his caucus. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "AP Explains: What's next with the Supreme Court vacancy?," 20 Sep. 2020 In a special resolution announced Thursday, the five-member Republican caucus advises the Marion County Public Health Department not to close a business or private school based on their mask policy. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, "Republicans on Indianapolis city council call for repeal of mask mandate," 18 Sep. 2020 In 1980, Ferraro was elected secretary of the Democratic caucus. Mcardle Hankin, SFChronicle.com, "Three Female Vice Presidential Candidates who Cleared the Way for Kamala Harris," 27 Aug. 2020 The House Republican caucus issued a statement from Bedke later Tuesday evening addressing the disruptions at the Capitol this week. Ruth Brown, Anchorage Daily News, "Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy arrested after maskless protesters storm Idaho Capitol," 26 Aug. 2020 During the 2019 speaker’s race, some Republican candidates tried to reach a consensus with their party’s caucus before reaching out to Democrats for support. Dallas News, "As battle for Texas House rages, Democrats, Republicans weigh bids to succeed Bonnen as speaker," 28 Sep. 2020 Following his speech, Senate Minority Leader Fred Girod, R-Stayton, called for a brief caucus with his Republican senators by the watercooler on the Senate floor to discuss their response. oregonlive, "Senate scuttles governor’s forestery board nominees; Sen. Golden denounces backroom dealing on natural resource nominees," 26 Sep. 2020 Spartz, who is running for office for the first time, was chosen by a caucus of precinct officials in 2017 to serve out the remainder of retiring Sen. Luke Kenley’s term in state Senate District 20. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, "Victoria Spartz, Christina Hale square off in 5th congressional district forum," 23 Sep. 2020 McConnell’s power in the GOP caucus has always rested on his ability to steer campaign funds and political support to Republican senators. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Can Senate Democrats Run Out the Clock on Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee?," 19 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Democrats hold 45, but typically control 47 votes because a pair of independents caucus with them. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Sen. Sherrod Brown predicts Democrats will take over the U.S. Senate after November’s election," 7 Oct. 2020 There are also two independents who caucus with Democrats. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Susan Collins faces fight of her career against Democratic challenger in Maine Senate race," 21 Sep. 2020 There are also two independents who caucus with Democrats. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Susan Collins faces fight of her career against Democratic challenger in Maine Senate race," 21 Sep. 2020 Currently, the Senate is majority Republican, with 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats. Caren Morrison, The Conversation, "Can Trump and McConnell get through the 4 steps to seat a Supreme Court justice in just 6 weeks?," 20 Sep. 2020 Republicans have a slim majority, holding 53 seats to the 45 held by Democrats and two by independents who caucus with them, so every member will count. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Here are the GOP senators who dismissed voting for a Supreme Court nominee close to the 2020 election," 18 Sep. 2020 Republicans currently hold 53 seats in the chamber to Democrats' 45, with two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Jessica Gresko, chicagotribune.com, "President Trump readying potential Supreme Court nominee list," 8 Sep. 2020 There are also two independents who caucus with Democrats. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Mitch McConnell warns vulnerable GOP Senate candidates to distance from Trump if necessary: Report," 31 July 2020 Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority, counting two independents who caucus with Senate Democrats. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump travails threaten GOP control of the Senate," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for caucus

Time Traveler

The first known use of caucus was in 1800

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Statistics for caucus

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caucus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caucus. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for caucus

caucus

noun
How to pronounce caucus (audio)

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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