quo·​rum | \ ˈkwȯr-əm How to pronounce quorum (audio) \

Definition of quorum

1 : a select group
2 : the number (such as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to transact business
3 : a Mormon body comprising those in the same grade of priesthood

Quorum Has a Legal History

In Latin, quorum means "of whom" and is itself the genitive plural of qui, meaning "who." At one time, Latin quorum was used in the wording of the commissions issued to justices of the peace in England. In English, quorum initially referred to the number of justices of the peace who had to be present to constitute a legally sufficient bench. That sense is now rare, but it's not surprising that quorum has come to mean both "a select group" and "the minimum people required in order to conduct business."

Examples of quorum in a Sentence

We need five people to make a quorum.
Recent Examples on the Web Then suggest another person be chosen if a quorum is required. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 5 Aug. 2022 The board had achieved a quorum and could legally meet that night only because Rodriguez had shown up at the last minute. Claire Bryan, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Aug. 2022 The struggle to gather 10 Jewish men to form a prayer quorum known as a minyan is part of life for many small Jewish communities in Europe. Cnaan Liphshiz, Sun Sentinel, 26 July 2022 In July more than 50 Democratic lawmakers left Texas to ensure there wasn't a quorum and a vote on the bill couldn't be taken, but the standoff ended earlier this month after 38 days. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 31 Aug. 2021 In taking their leave, Democrats ensured there was no longer a quorum for a vote on a bill that would have set new limitations on voting by mail and voting hours, among other restrictions. Sanya Mansoor, Time, 1 June 2021 But a few legislators used a trick with no quorum in 1982 to slip through a change too much controversy. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 1 July 2022 Six hours later, the vote passed by 97.5% with just enough participation to meet the 1% quorum. Danny Nelson, Fortune, 28 June 2022 Without its participation, SLND1 would have failed to reach quorum and flopped on the technical. Danny Nelson, Fortune, 28 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of quorum

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quorum

Middle English, quorum of justices of the peace, from Latin, of whom, genitive plural of qui who; from the wording of the commission formerly issued to justices of the peace

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quorum call

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quorum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quorum. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for quorum


quo·​rum | \ ˈkwȯr-əm How to pronounce quorum (audio) \

Kids Definition of quorum

: the smallest number of people who must be present at a meeting in order for business to be carried on


quo·​rum | \ ˈkwōr-əm How to pronounce quorum (audio) \

Legal Definition of quorum

: the number (as a majority) of members or officers that must be present to conduct business lacked a quorum at the meeting of shareholders

History and Etymology for quorum

Middle English, a select number of English justices of the peace formerly required to be present at sessions to constitute a lawful bench, from Latin, of whom, genitive plural of qui who; from the wording of the commission once issued to justices of the peace in England

More from Merriam-Webster on quorum

Nglish: Translation of quorum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quorum for Arabic Speakers


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