noun, plural cau·cus·es.
- a meeting of party leaders to select candidates, elect convention delegates, etc.
- a meeting of party members within a legislative body to select leaders and determine strategy.
- (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.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of caucus
Related Words for caucusgathering, session, meeting, convention, assembly, conclave, council, parley, get-together
Examples from the Web for caucus
Contemporary Examples of caucus
Pat Robertson finished second in the 1988 Iowa caucus, and it was all downhill from there.Can Huckabee Convert the GOP’s Moneymen?
January 4, 2015
Both are considered marginal figures in the House GOP caucus and have no real base of support for their respective bids.The YOLO Caucus' New Cry for Attention
January 4, 2015
The House caucus appears to be far more populist, feisty, and ready to push the debate on economic issues than it has in the past.‘Cromnibus’ Passes, But Did Anyone Win?
December 12, 2014
Now, the Memphis congressman is one of only a handful of white Southerners in his caucus and the once Solid South is deep red.Southern Dems Won’t Rise Again
December 5, 2014
On June 18, 1971, the caucus threw its inaugural dinner at the Dunbar Hotel.When Bill Cosby N-Bombed the Congressional Black Caucus
December 2, 2014
Historical Examples of caucus
It is felt in every caucus, in every nominating convention and at every election.The Railroad Question
Their names therefore were presented to the Republican caucus in the spring of 1898.
Governor Tompkins was the choice of the caucus for Vice-President.Union and Democracy
The only bear-gardens in our community are the town-meeting and the caucus.
What on earth a lot of young ones want with a 'caucus,' beats me.The Brass Bound Box
noun plural -cuses
- a closed meeting of the members of one party in a legislative chamber, etc, to coordinate policy, choose candidates, etc
- such a bloc of politiciansthe Democratic caucus in Congress
- a group of leading politicians of one party
- a meeting of such a group
Word Origin for caucus
"private meeting of party leaders," 1763, American English (New England), perhaps from an Algonquian word caucauasu "counselor, elder, adviser" in the dialect of Virginia, or from the Caucus Club of Boston, a 1760s social & political club whose name possibly derived from Modern Greek kaukos "drinking cup." Another old guess is caulker's (meeting) [Pickering, 1816], but OED finds this dismissable.
caucus: "This noun is used throughout the United States, as a cant term for those meetings, which are held by the different political parties, for the purpose of agreeing upon candidates for office, or concerting any measure, which they intend to carry at the subsequent public, or town meetings." [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
The word caucus, and its derivative caucusing, are often used in Boston. The last answers much to what we stile parliamenteering or electioneering. All my repeated applications to different gentlemen have not furnished me with a satisfactory account of the origin of caucus. It seems to mean, a number of persons, whether more or less, met together to consult upon adopting and prosecuting some scheme of policy, for carrying a favorite point. [William Gordon, "History, Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United States of America," London, 1788]
1850, from caucus (n.), but caucusing is attested from 1788.
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.