caucusses

caucus

[kaw-kuhs]
noun, plural caucuses.
1.
U.S. politics.
a.
a meeting of party leaders to select candidates, elect convention delegates, etc.
b.
a meeting of party members within a legislative body to select leaders and determine strategy.
c.
(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:
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

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Collins
World English Dictionary
caucus (ˈkɔːkəs)
 
n , pl -cuses
1.  chiefly (US), (Canadian)
 a.  a closed meeting of the members of one party in a legislative chamber, etc, to coordinate policy, choose candidates, etc
 b.  such a bloc of politicians: the Democratic caucus in Congress
2.  chiefly (US)
 a.  a group of leading politicians of one party
 b.  a meeting of such a group
3.  chiefly (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
 
vb
7.  (intr) to hold a caucus
 
[C18: probably of Algonquian origin; related to caucauasu adviser]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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.
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