[sesh-uh n]
  1. the sitting together of a court, council, legislature, or the like, for conference or the transaction of business: Congress is now in session.
  2. a single continuous sitting, or period of sitting, of persons so assembled.
  3. a continuous series of sittings or meetings of a court, legislature, or the like.
  4. the period or term during which such a series is held.
  5. sessions, (in English law) the sittings or a sitting of justices in court, usually to deal with minor offenses, grant licenses, etc.
  6. a single continuous course or period of lessons, study, etc., in the work of a day at school: two afternoon sessions a week.
  7. a portion of the year into which instruction is organized at a college or other educational institution.
  8. the governing body of a local Presbyterian church, composed of the pastor who moderates and the elders.
  9. 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 formsses·sion·al, adjectivepre·ses·sion, noun
Can be confusedcession secession session Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sessional

Historical Examples of sessional

  • Some of the select committees are appointed regularly every year, and are therefore known as sessional committees.

  • There are also a couple of sessional committees whose work is wholly concerned with private bills and are described therewith.

  • I forget precisely how it came about that I secured my first sessional appointment in the gallery of the House of Commons.


    David Christie Murray

  • If, however, the sessional acts be included, the collection would amount to over 1500 volumes.

  • Then comes the sessional judgment of the living nations, as recorded in Matthew xxv.

British Dictionary definitions for sessional


  1. the meeting of a court, legislature, judicial body, etc, for the execution of its function or the transaction of business
  2. a single continuous meeting of such a body
  3. a series or period of such meetings
  4. education
    1. the time during which classes are held
    2. a school or university term or year
  5. Presbyterian Church the judicial and administrative body presiding over a local congregation and consisting of the minister and elders
  6. a meeting of a group of musicians to record in a studio
  7. a meeting of a group of people to pursue an activity
  8. any period devoted to an activity
  9. See Court of Session
Derived Formssessional, adjectivesessionally, adverb

Word Origin for session

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

Word Origin and History for sessional



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

Idioms and Phrases with sessional


see bull session.

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