congress

Definitions

Politics

  • noun
    (written as Congress)
    the elected federal legislative body in many countries, especially in the USA (formed of a lower and upper house, usually called the House of Representatives and the Senate)
  • noun
    (written as Congress)
    a large meeting
  • noun
    (written as Congress)
    used in the name of political parties, e.g. the African National Congress in South Africa

Travel

  • noun a meeting of a group of people

Origin & History of “congress”

A congress is literally a ‘coming together’ – hence, a ‘meeting’. The word comes from Latin congressus, which was based on the past participial stem of congredī ‘come together’. this was a compound verb formed from the prefix com- ‘together’ and gradī ‘go, walk’ (a derivative of gradus ‘step’, from which English gets grade, gradual, and graduate). The application of the word to the US legislature dates from the 1770s.
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