Caucus meaning

kôkəs
The definition of a caucus is a private meeting of leaders before a more general, open meeting.
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Although the exact origin of the word is still unknown, it is often said that caucus comes from “cau´-cau-as´u”—the Algonquin word for "counsel." The term probably introduced into political usage in the United States through the Democratic Party in New York known as Tammany Hall, an organization which commonly adopted Native American terms to suit their own purposes. However, there are also some people who attribute the term to the Latin word “caucus” that means “drinking vessel.” These people say the phrase was first used to describe political activity by the Caucus Club of Boston.
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In the United States, the term caucus is often used in reference to the procedure some states use to select their presidential nominees. Another, although less common, definition of caucus is as a description of a sub-grouping of elected government officials who plan meetings to affect public policy. These groups often share a common interest, such as a shared ethnicity or political faction.

An example of a caucus is a meeting of Democratic leaders before the national convention.

An example of a caucus is are Iowa caucuses which, since 1972, have been the first major electoral event in the long process of nominating Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. Even though Iowa is a small state, the results of the Iowa caucuses are considered to be an important test of a candidate’s strength in the presidential race.

An example of a caucus is the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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Caucus is defined as to hold or take part in a private meeting before a more general, open meeting.

An example of caucus is to hold a meeting for Republican leaders to determine strategy before a session of Congress.

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(chiefly british) A committee within a political party charged with determining policy.
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To assemble in or hold a caucus.
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To assemble or canvass (members of a caucus).
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(chiefly british) A committee within a political party charged with determining policy.
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To assemble in or hold a caucus.
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To assemble or canvass (members of a caucus).
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A controlling organization within a British political party.
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To hold, or take part in, a caucus.
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A meeting of the leaders, members, or representatives of a political party to select the party’s nominees or convention delegates, plan a campaign, or develop party policy or strategy. An organized group of members of a legislative body who share a common interest and work together to further those interests through legislation. Any group or meeting organized to advance a particular cause. To meet in or hold a caucus.
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(US) A meeting, especially a preliminary meeting, of persons belonging to a party, to nominate candidates for public office, or to select delegates to a nominating convention, or to confer regarding measures of party policy; a political primary meeting.
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(US, Canada) A grouping of all the members of a legislature from the same party.
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(US) To meet and participate in caucus.
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Origin of caucus

  • After the Caucus Club of Boston (in the 1760s) possibly from Medieval Latin caucus drinking vessel

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • After the Caucus Club of Boston (in the 1760s) possibly from Medieval Latin caucus drinking vessel

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Unknown. One possible source is Algonquin cawaassough or caucauasu (“counselor, elder, adviser”). A popular folk etymology attested in Great Leaders and National Issues of 1896 stated: "In the early part of the eighteenth century a number of caulkers connected with the shipping business in the North End of Boston held a meeting for consultation. That meeting was the germ of the political caucuses which have formed so prominent a feature of our government ever since its organization." American Heritage Dictionary states the term is taken from the Caucus Club of Boston in the 1760s, possibly derived from Medieval Latin caucus, drinking vessel.

    From Wiktionary