con·​gress | \ˈkäŋ-grəs also -rəs, British usually ˈkäŋ-ˌgres\

Definition of congress 

1a : the act or action of coming together and meeting

b : coitus

2 : a formal meeting of delegates for discussion and usually action on some question the Congress of Vienna

3 : the supreme legislative body of a nation and especially of a republic the Congress of the United States

4 : an association usually made up of delegates from constituent organizations the World Energy Congress

5 : a single meeting or session of a group

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Other Words from congress

congressional \ kən-​ˈgresh-​nəl , kän-​, -​ˈgre-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
congressionally adverb

Examples of congress in a Sentence

She was recently elected to the country's congress. the congresses of Mexico and Chile The bill easily passed both houses of Congress. Congress is not currently in session.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His margin of victory suggests that his electoral coalition will control congress and the government of Mexico City, the capital, giving Mr López Obrador unprecedented power for a modern president. The Economist, "The victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador starts a new era in Mexico," 2 July 2018 Maduro, after shutting down congress and setting up his own assembly of loyalists, called snap presidential elections to take place by April 30. Tracy Wilkinson,, "Tillerson: U.S. considering sanctions on Venezuela oil," 4 Feb. 2018 Extremists on the right and left in congress and the White House make compromise impossible. Jeff Darcy,, "It's Miller time in Trump White House: Darcy cartoon," 24 Jan. 2018 When the new Mexican congress sits on Dec. 1, women will make up 49 percent of the lower house and 51 percent of the senate. Magda Hinojosa, Washington Post, "Women won big in Mexico’s elections — taking nearly half the legislature’s seats. Here’s why.," 11 July 2018 The congress had originally recommended a drop in the bag limit from five to three birds per day. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: With West Nile a threat and numbers down, the ruffed grouse season will end early," 27 June 2018 Many accused of war crimes have avoided prison, and past guerrilla fighters now sit in the Colombia congress. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Populist Conservative Iván Duque Elected President of Colombia," 18 June 2018 But he was also drawn to politics, attending his first session of the Colombian congress with his father as a boy, resplendent in a suit and tie. John Otis And, WSJ, "In Colombian Vote, a Question Looms Large: Is the Frontrunner a Puppet?," 15 June 2018 In 2001, the US congress estimated there were 100,000 people living in the United States who were divided from their relatives in North Korea. Natasha Chen, CNN, "Last chance for Korean Americans hoping to find lost family members," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'congress.' 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 congress

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for congress

Latin congressus, from congredi to come together, from com- + gradi to go — more at grade

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Statistics for congress

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for congress

The first known use of congress was in 1528

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English Language Learners Definition of congress

: a formal meeting in which representatives or experts discuss important matters, make decisions, etc.

: the group of people who are responsible for making the laws of a country in some kinds of government

Congress : a particular congress; especially : the congress of the United States that includes the Senate and the House of Representatives


con·​gress | \ˈkäŋ-grəs \

Kids Definition of congress

1 : the chief lawmaking body of a republic that in the United States is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives

2 : a formal meeting of delegates for discussion and action : conference

Other Words from congress

congressional \ kən-​ˈgre-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective


con·​gress | \ˈkäŋ-grəs also -rəs, British usually ˈkäŋ-ˌgres\

Medical Definition of congress 

: coitus

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Legal Definition of congress 

1 : a formal meeting of delegates

2a : the supreme legislative body of a nation and especially a republic

b capitalized : the legislative branch of the United States government specifically : the U.S. House of Representatives

3 capitalized

a : the U.S. legislature as it is composed for an enumerated two-year period the 101st Congress

b : a single session of the U.S. legislature — see also house of representatives, senate

Other Words from congress

congressional adjective
congressionally adverb

History and Etymology for congress

Latin congressus meeting, encounter, from congredi to approach, meet

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More from Merriam-Webster on congress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for congress

Spanish Central: Translation of congress

Nglish: Translation of congress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of congress for Arabic Speakers

Comments on congress

What made you want to look up congress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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