Word of the Day

Sunday, July 28, 2002


\KWOR-uhm\ , noun;
Such a number of the officers or members of any body as is legally competent to transact business.
A select group.
The extraordinary powers of the Senate were vested in twenty-six men, fourteen of whom would constitute a quorum, of which eight would make up a majority.
-- Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction
What other quorum in American history, save those who wrote our constitution, could claim as much impact on our day-to-day lives?
-- Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear
Quorum comes from the Latin quorum, "of whom," from qui, "who." The term arose from the wording of the commission once issued to justices of the peace in England, by which commission it was directed that no business of certain kinds should be done without the presence of one or more specially designated justices.
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