con·​gress | \ ˈkäŋ-grəs How to pronounce congress (audio) 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 How to pronounce congress (audio) , kän-​ , -​ˈgre-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
congressionally adverb

Synonyms for congress


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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 But in Norway on Sunday, an extraordinary congress of the country’s soccer federation voted against boycotting the World Cup if the national team qualifies. Rob Harris, ajc, 20 June 2021 Since 1975, Cuba’s ruling Communist Party has periodically convened a congress at which, in keeping with the arcane rituals of socialist states during the Soviet era, the Party makes public official policy guidelines. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2021 All seats in Peru's congress, too, are being contested. Star Tribune, 10 Apr. 2021 During the party congress in January, Kim ordered officials to build stronger self-supporting economy, reduce reliance on imports and make more consumer goods. NBC News, 9 Apr. 2021 During the party congress, Mr. Kim claimed that his nuclear weapons had made North Korea safer from American threats, putting it in a better position to rebuild its economy. New York Times, 15 Jan. 2021 The Turkish leader criticized his French counterpart during a party congress on Saturday, questioning the state of Macron's mental health. Elaine Ganley, Star Tribune, 25 Oct. 2020 Shelly Asquith, the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Policy Officer at the TUC, the congress of UK labor unions, describes the national discussion of returning to work as a blame game. Rob Picheta, CNN, 11 Sep. 2020 The police association's review could eventually lead to a congress of police executives and union leaders that produced a consensus policy on the use of force three years ago, Cunningham said. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, 4 Sep. 2020

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for congress

Time Traveler

The first known use of congress was in 1528

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Dictionary Entries Near congress



Congress cap

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Cite this Entry

“Congress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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


con·​gress | \ ˈkäŋ-grəs How to pronounce congress (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on congress

Nglish: Translation of congress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of congress for Arabic Speakers


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