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[kwawr-uh m, kwohr-] /ˈkwɔr əm, ˈkwoʊr-/
the number of members of a group or organization required to be present to transact business legally, usually a majority.
a particularly chosen group.
1425-75; < Latin quōrum of whom; from a use of the word in commissions written in Latin specifying a quorum Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quorum
  • It was a diverse quorum ethnically, and very ecumenical theologically.
  • If the quorum was not met, there would be another election.
  • The conviction was overturned because a quorum of committee members hadn't been present during the testimony.
  • The motion passed with no vote, due to a lack of House quorum caused by the absent lawmakers.
  • The generals seem to be alarmed by the prospect of a low turnout, though the election laws do not require a quorum.
  • The whales of many species that frequented these fjords now barely make up a biological quorum.
  • Many of the bacteria close to pathogens are able to inhibit them by interfering with their quorum sensing.
  • It was our only chance to gather a quorum fit for such an announcement.
British Dictionary definitions for quorum


a minimum number of members in an assembly, society, board of directors, etc, required to be present before any valid business can be transacted: the quorum is forty, we don't have a quorum
Word Origin
C15: from Latin, literally: of whom, occurring in Latin commissions in the formula quorum vos…duos (etc) volumus of whom we wish that you be…two
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
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Word Origin and History for quorum

early 15c., in reference to certain eminent justices of the peace, from Latin quorum "of whom," genitive plural (masc. and neuter; fem. quarum) of qui "who" (see who). The traditional wording of the commission appointing justices of the peace translates as, "We have also assigned you, and every two or more of you (of whom [quoram vos] any one of you the aforesaid A, B, C, D, etc. we will shall be one) our justices to inquire the truth more fully." The justices so-named usually were called the justices of the quorum. Meaning "fixed number of members whose presence is necessary to transact business" is first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quorum in Culture
quorum [(kwawr-uhm)]

The minimum number of members of a committee or legislative body who must be present before business can officially or legally be conducted. In the United States Congress, for example, either house must have a majority (218 in the House of Representatives, 51 in the Senate) to have a quorum.

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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