[ noun kong-gris; verb kuhn-gres, kuhng- ]
/ noun ˈkɒŋ grɪs; verb kənˈgrɛs, kəŋ- /
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See synonyms for: congress / congressed / congressing on Thesaurus.com


verb (used without object)

to assemble together; meet in congress.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of congress

First recorded in 1350–1400 for earlier sense “body of attendants, following”; Middle English, from Latin congressus “assembly, intercourse, meeting,” equivalent to congred(ī) “to approach, meet” (con- “with, together” + -gredī, combining form of gradī “to step”) + -tus suffix of verbal action; see con-; cf. grade


pre-Congress, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for congress

British Dictionary definitions for congress (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒŋɡrɛs) /


a meeting or conference, esp of representatives of a number of sovereign states
a national legislative assembly
a society or association
sexual intercourse

Word Origin for congress

C16: from Latin congressus from congredī to meet with, from com- together + gradī to walk, step

British Dictionary definitions for congress (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒŋɡrɛs) /


the bicameral federal legislature of the US, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate
this body during any two-year term
Also called: Congress Party (in India) a major political party, which controlled the Union government from 1947 to 1977Official name: Indian National Congress

Derived forms of Congress

Congressional, adjective
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 congress


The legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Popularly elected, senators and representatives are responsible for advocating the interests of the constituents they represent. Numerous congressional committees are organized to study issues of public policy, recommend action, and, ultimately, pass laws. Congress plays an important role in the system of checks and balances; in fact, the two-house (bicameral) organization of Congress acts as an internal check, for each house must separately vote to pass a bill for it to become a law. In addition to lawmaking, Congress has a variety of functions, including appropriation of funds for executive and judicial activities; instituting taxes and regulating commerce; declaring war and raising and supporting a military; setting up federal courts and conducting impeachment proceedings; and approving presidential appointments.

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.