from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A group of people officially delegated to perform a function, such as investigating, considering, reporting, or acting on a matter.
  • noun Archaic A person to whom a trust or charge is committed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One or more individuals to whom the care of the person or estate of another, as a lunatic, an imbecile, an inebriate, or an infant in law, is committed by the judge of a competent court.
  • noun One or more persons elected or appointed to attend to any matter or business referred to them, as by a legislative body, a court, corporation, society, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Law) One to whom the charge of the person or estate of another, as of a lunatic, is committed by suitable authority; a guardian.
  • noun One or more persons elected or appointed, to whom any matter or business is referred, either by a legislative body, or by a court, or by any collective body of men acting together.
  • noun a committee, embracing all the members present, into which a legislative or deliberative body sometimes resolves itself, for the purpose of considering a particular measure under the operation of different rules from those governing the general legislative proceedings. The committee of the whole has its own chairman, and reports its action in the form of recommendations.
  • noun See under Standing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a group of persons convened for the accomplishment of some specific purpose, typically with formal protocols
  • noun archaic a guardian; someone in charge of another person deemed to be unable to look after himself or herself.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a self-constituted organization to promote something
  • noun a special group delegated to consider some matter


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English committe, trustee, from Anglo-Norman comité, past participle of cometre, to commit, from Latin committere; see commit.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

(Can we verify(+) this etymology?) From English commit + -ee, else revival of Anglo-Norman commite, past participle of commettre ("to commit"), from Latin committere, from con- ("with") + mittere ("to send").


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  • The committee may be either a “standing committee, ” appointed for a definite time, as a session or a year; or a “special [or select] committee, ” appointed for a special purpose; or a “committee of the whole” consisting of the entire assembly.

    9. Committees and Boards. 52. Committees, Special and Standing Henry Martyn 1915

  • It is, doubtless, in humble imitation of such illustrious examples, that an Irishman of the lowest class, when he means to express that he is a member of a committee, says, _I am a committee_; thus consolidating the power, wisdom, and virtue of a whole committee in his own person.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 04 Maria Edgeworth 1808

  • It looks like Chicken's Don't Have Armpits isn't even going to be a choice that the title committee will look at.

    Archive 2005-02-01 Matthew Buckley 2005

  • But this morning we are in committee, and the committee is discussing an important matter, and it was on purely moral grounds that I raised my voice against the sale of pornographic literature or newspapers on the streets of, our cities.

    Mr. Speaker 1956

  • * The term committee in those ear'y days was sometimes applied even to the Continental Congress (see Jones 'Defence; and the veteran John Simeson, speaker of the authorized County Committees or Congresses.) On the other hand, the ancestral name of McKnitt was held by no family in the county, and he accepted the soubriquet from the mouth of those who held him in the highest esteem both in Church and State.

    Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians John Hill 1884

  • Long is quick to use the word committee when talking about his backs, but it's clear he likes Sims' total package. Front Page 2011

  • RUC Chairwoman Barbara Levy says the committee is an expert panel, not meant to be representative, and that members don't vote in blocs tied to their specialties 'interests.

    Dividing the Medicare Pie Pits Doctor Against Doctor Anna Wilde Mathews 2010

  • Dr. Levy says the committee is an expert panel, not meant to be representative, adding: "The outcomes are independent of who's sitting at the table from one specialty or another."

    Physician Panel Prescribes the Fees Paid by Medicare Anna Wilde Mathews 2010

  • [AS] And, one of the aspects of the work that has been highlighted by the committee is the ribosome's interaction with antibiotics and the hope that understanding the structural nature of those interactions will ...

    Ada E. Yonath - Interview 2009

  • The RUC's Dr. Levy says the committee is already recommending changes for services that have moved to an outpatient setting.

    Physician Panel Prescribes the Fees Paid by Medicare Anna Wilde Mathews 2010


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  • Daffynition: a group that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

    January 6, 2007