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See also: Congress



From Latin congressum, the past participle of congredior (I go, come together), itself from con- + gradior (I go, step). The verb is from the noun.



congress (countable and uncountable, plural congresses)

  1. (archaic) A coming together of two or more people; a meeting.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC:
      , New York Review of Books, 2001, p.48:
      After some little repast, he went to see Democritus […]. The multitude stood gazing round about to see the congress.
  2. A formal gathering or assembly; a conference held to discuss or decide on a specific question.
  3. (often capitalized) A legislative body of a state, originally the bicameral legislature of the United States of America.
    Synonyms: assembly, legislature, parliament
  4. An association, especially one consisting of other associations or representatives of interest groups.
    Synonym: federation
    The National Congress of American Indians
  5. (dated) Coitus; sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:sexual intercourse
    • 1927, Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6)[1]:
      Welsh ponies, I learn from a man who has had much experience with these animals, habitually produce erections and emissions in their stalls; they do not bring their hind quarters up during this process, and they close their eyes, which does not take place when they have congress with mares.
    • 1985, Cormac McCarthy, chapter 1, in Blood Meridian [] , →OCLC:
      Not three weeks before this he was run out of Fort Smith Arkansas for having congress with a goat. Yes lady, that is what I said. Goat.
  6. (countable, collective) A group of baboons; the collective noun for baboons.
    • 1966, Philip José Farmer, “Riverworld”, in Down in the Black Gang and Others[2], Garden City, NY: Nelson Doubleday, published 1971, page 79:
      [] the council hall stank like a congress of baboons.
    • 2013, Dick Hrebik, Walter Goes to War—WWII, Rolling Meadows, IL: Windy City Publishers, Chapter 7, p. 133,[3]
      Saw a congress of baboons of all sizes making their way to a mountaintop to spend the night on the rocks and trees there.

Derived terms[edit]



congress (third-person singular simple present congresses, present participle congressing, simple past and past participle congressed)

  1. (intransitive) To assemble together.
  2. To meet in a congress.