[ kaw-kuhs ]
/ ˈkɔ kəs /

noun, plural cau·cus·es.

U.S. Politics.
  1. a local meeting of party members to select candidates, elect convention delegates, etc.
  2. a meeting of party members within a legislative body to select leaders and determine strategy.
  3. (often initial capital letter) a faction within a legislative body that pursues its interests through the legislative process: the Women's Caucus; the Black Caucus.
any group or meeting organized to further a special interest or cause.

verb (used without object)

to hold or meet in a caucus.

verb (used with object)

to bring up or hold for discussion in a caucus: The subject was caucused.
to bring together or poll in a caucus: The paper caucused its new editorial board on Friday.The chairman caucused the water pollution committee before making recommendations.



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Origin of caucus

An Americanism first recorded in 1755–65, apparently first used in the name of the Caucus Club of colonial Boston; further origin uncertain; perhaps from Medieval Latin caucus “drinking vessel,” Late Latin caucum, from Greek kaûkos; or perhaps from Virginia Algonquian Cawcawwassough “elders of the Chickahominy people” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for caucus

British Dictionary definitions for caucus

/ (ˈkɔːkəs) /

noun plural -cuses


(intr) to hold a caucus

Word Origin for caucus

C18: probably of Algonquian origin; related to caucauasu adviser
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

Cultural definitions for caucus

[ (kaw-kuhs) ]

A meeting of members of a political party to nominate candidates, choose convention delegates, plan campaign tactics, determine party policy, or select leaders for a legislature.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.