American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office.
- n. A closed meeting of party members within a legislative body to decide on questions of policy or leadership.
- n. A group within a legislative or decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest or influence a particular area of policy: a minority caucus.
- n. Chiefly British A committee within a political party charged with determining policy.
- v. To assemble in or hold a caucus.
- v. To assemble or canvass (members of a caucus).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In U. S. politics:
- n. A local meeting of the voters of a party to nominate candidates for local offices, or to elect delegates to a convention for the nomination of more important officers. In the latter sense, caucuses are now generally called
primaries. Admission to a party caucus is generally open only to known and registered members of the party.
- n. A similar congressional, legislative, or other gathering of leading members of a party for conference as to party measures and policy. Candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States were nominated by party caucuses of members of Congress from 1800 to 1824.
- n. Any meeting of managers or of interested persons for the purpose of deciding upon a line of policy, an arrangement of business, etc., to be brought before a larger meeting, as a convention.
- n. In Eng. politics, a large local committee of voters for the management of all electioneering business of its party: called the Birmingham system, from its introduction at Birmingham about 1880.
- To meet in caucus; come together and confer.
- n. US A meeting, especially a preliminary meeting, of persons belonging to a party, to nominate candidates for public office, or to select delegates to a nominating convention, or to confer regarding measures of party policy; a political primary meeting.
- n. US, Canada A grouping of all the members of a legislature from the same party.
- v. US To meet and participate in caucus.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A meeting, especially a preliminary meeting, of persons belonging to a party, to nominate candidates for public office, or to select delegates to a nominating convention, or to confer regarding measures of party policy; a political primary meeting.
- v. To hold, or meet in, a caucus or caucuses.
- n. a closed political meeting
- v. meet to select a candidate or promote a policy
- Unknown. One possible source is Algonquin caucauasu ("counselor, elder, adviser"). (Wiktionary)
- After the Caucus Club of Boston (in the 1760s), possibly from Medieval Latin caucus, drinking vessel. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Winning in caucus is not democratic, its more like a boiling room brawl, muscling people.”
“The term caucus apparently comes from an Algonquin word meaning "gathering of tribal chiefs," and the main crux of the caucus system today is indeed a series of meetings.”
“Some of these discussions have bordered on the absurd: as I recounted in my post on the politics of the term 'mommy blogger,' I once had the unique pleasure of debating the question of whether or not the term caucus - as in, should we form a women's caucus in order to have a forum for women's issues in the department?”
“LAS VEGAS -- After back-to-back fiascos in Nevada and Iowa, the term "caucus" may be on its way to becoming a bad word in the...”
“As an Obama precinct captain, I was having a little trouble imagining a "precinct convention" (which is what they call the caucus) at the Northeast Community Center.”
“The democratic caucus is undisciplined and disorganized.”
“Paul Krugman uses the term "pain caucus" to describe the growing chorus of well-placed and well-respected people who believe that we have to cut spending even in the face of continued economic stagnation and growing immiseration.”
“While Meeks has the signatures, and a lot of support, the caucus is worried about his history, namely hateful "remarks from the pulpit about gays -- and his use of the n-word and the term 'slave-master' to describe Daley four years ago.”
“Congressional black caucus is NOT equivalent to a whites-only league.”
“The anti-science caucus is coming to a Congress near you, and we have polluters and wealthy corporate fat cats largely to thank for it.”
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