follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

caucus

[kaw-kuh s] /ˈkɔ kəs/
noun, plural caucuses.
1.
U.S. Politics.
  1. a meeting of party leaders to select candidates, elect convention delegates, etc.
  2. a meeting of party members within a legislative body to select leaders and determine strategy.
  3. (often initial capital letter) a faction within a legislative body that pursues its interests through the legislative process:
    the Women's Caucus; the Black Caucus.
2.
any group or meeting organized to further a special interest or cause.
verb (used without object)
3.
to hold or meet in a caucus.
verb (used with object)
4.
to bring up or hold for discussion in a caucus:
The subject was caucused. The group caucused the meeting.
Origin
Virginia Algonquian
1755-1765
1755-65, Americanism; apparently first used in the name of the Caucus Club of colonial Boston; perhaps < Medieval Latin caucus drinking vessel, Late Latin caucum < Greek kaûkos; alleged Virginia Algonquian orig. less probable
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for caucuses
  • He or she will be decided through the quirky process of state primaries and caucuses.
  • The process has four steps: the precinct caucuses, the county conventions, the district conventions and the state convention.
  • State primaries and caucuses select pledged delegates, who are obligated to vote for the candidate their state chose.
  • Dems to forgo presidential primary, hold party-funded caucuses instead.
  • Pledged delegates are won via primaries and caucuses.
  • Parties can try to push local authorities to hold their caucuses at certain times, but they can't require it.
  • In some cases they've formed caucuses within their churches.
British Dictionary definitions for caucuses

caucus

/ˈkɔːkəs/
noun (pl) -cuses
1.
(mainly US & Canadian)
  1. a closed meeting of the members of one party in a legislative chamber, etc, to coordinate policy, choose candidates, etc
  2. such a bloc of politicians the Democratic caucus in Congress
2.
(mainly US)
  1. a group of leading politicians of one party
  2. a meeting of such a group
3.
(mainly US) a local meeting of party members
4.
(Brit) a group or faction within a larger group, esp a political party, who discuss tactics, choose candidates, etc
5.
(Austral) a group of MPs from one party who meet to discuss tactics, etc
6.
(NZ) a formal meeting of all Members of Parliament belonging to one political party
verb
7.
(intransitive) to hold a caucus
Word Origin
C18: probably of Algonquian origin; related to caucauasu adviser
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for caucuses
caucus
1763, Amer.Eng., perhaps from caucauasu "counselor" in the Algonquian dialect of Virginia, or the Caucus Club of Boston, a 1760s social & political club whose name possibly derived from Mod.Gr. kaukos "drinking cup." Another candidate is caulker's (meeting). The verb is from 1850.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
caucuses in Culture
caucus [(kaw-kuhs)]

A meeting of members of a political party to nominate candidates, choose convention delegates, plan campaign tactics, determine party policy, or select leaders for a legislature.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for caucuses

caucus

any political group or meeting organized to further a special interest or cause

Learn more about caucus with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for caucus

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for caucuses

12
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with caucuses