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 congressional (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 Zhang's comments at a news conference came on the eve of the opening of the congress's annual session after a two-month delay because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, "China proposes banning ‘secessionist’ activities, ‘foreign interference’ in Hong Kong," 21 May 2020 The congress scheduled for May 22 will provide the ruling party with a platform to project confidence following criticism of its handling of the coronavirus crisis. Melina Delkic, New York Times, "China’s parliament, Irrfan Khan, South Korea: Here’s what you need to know.," 29 Apr. 2020 The $2 trillion coronavirus aid package the US congress recently passed does include emergency grants and a loan program for small businesses. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Retail bankruptcies from Covid-19 may just be beginning," 15 Apr. 2020 The government sent soldiers into the congress on Sunday as President Nayib Bukele sought to pressure legislators to approve a $109 million foreign loan for security equipment. Washington Post, "Leaders in El Salvador and across Latin America leaning on the military to assert power," 11 Feb. 2020 Known as the Olympics of the energy sector, the congress is held every three years to bring together the world's top oil and gas companies, political leaders and more to collaborate and discuss the future of the energy sector. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Ten presenting sponsors named for 2020 World Petroleum Congress in Houston," 1 Oct. 2019 The true exodus from the American Communist Party came after Khrushchev’s 1956 speech acknowledging many of Stalin’s crimes at the party congress. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "How Vivian Gornick Reinvigorated Political Writing," 1 May 2020 In 2011, Colombia’s congress approved the Victims and Land Restitution Law, which stated a clear procedure for redistributing land among those who’ve been forcibly displaced during conflict. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Colombia is using an app to return land to people displaced by war," 26 Mar. 2020 The next steps will be determined at an SPD congress in Berlin on December 6th-8th. The Economist, "Under new management Germany’s Social Democrats pick new leaders," 5 Dec. 2019

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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Statistics for congress

Last Updated

6 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Congress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for congress


How to pronounce congress (audio)

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

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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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