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[sesh-uh n] /ˈsɛʃ ən/
the sitting together of a court, council, legislature, or the like, for conference or the transaction of business:
Congress is now in session.
a single continuous sitting, or period of sitting, of persons so assembled.
a continuous series of sittings or meetings of a court, legislature, or the like.
the period or term during which such a series is held.
sessions, (in English law) the sittings or a sitting of justices in court, usually to deal with minor offenses, grant licenses, etc.
a single continuous course or period of lessons, study, etc., in the work of a day at school:
two afternoon sessions a week.
a portion of the year into which instruction is organized at a college or other educational institution.
the governing body of a local Presbyterian church, composed of the pastor who moderates and the elders.
a period of time during which a group of persons meets to pursue a particular activity:
A few of the kids got together for a study session.
Origin of session
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin sessiōn- (stem of sessiō) law-court sitting, Latin: sitting, equivalent to sess(us) (past participle of sedēre to sit1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
sessional, adjective
presession, noun
Can be confused
cession, secession, session. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for session


the meeting of a court, legislature, judicial body, etc, for the execution of its function or the transaction of business
a single continuous meeting of such a body
a series or period of such meetings
  1. the time during which classes are held
  2. a school or university term or year
(Presbyterian Church) the judicial and administrative body presiding over a local congregation and consisting of the minister and elders
a meeting of a group of musicians to record in a studio
a meeting of a group of people to pursue an activity
any period devoted to an activity
Derived Forms
sessional, adjective
sessionally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sessiō a sitting, from sedēre to sit
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 session

late 14c., "periodical sitting of a court," from Old French session "act or state of sitting; assembly," from Latin sessionem (nominative sessio) "act of sitting; a seat; loitering; a session," noun of action from past participle stem of sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). Sense of "period set aside for some activity" is first recorded 1920, in bull session, probably from quarter sessions courts (see quarter (n.)). Musical sense of "recording occasion in a studio" is from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for session



: He used to do a lot of session playing but hardly ever worked for an audience


  1. A dance or party; hop (1950s+ Teenagers)
  2. The period of intoxication from a dose of narcotics, esp of LSD; trip (1960s+ Narcotics)
  3. An occasion at which a recording is made in a studio; a studio rehearsal or performance: Horn is from an earlier session (1927+ Musicians)

Related Terms

bitch session, bull session, gripe session, hash session, jam session, rap session, skull session

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with session


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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