Definition of caucus in US English:


nounPlural caucuses

  • 1(in some US states) a meeting at which local members of a political party register their preference among candidates running for office or select delegates to attend a convention.

    ‘Hawaii holds its nominating caucuses next Tuesday’
    ‘he stumbled through the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary’
    meeting, assembly, gathering, congress, conference, convention, rally, conclave, congregation, convocation, synod, council, session, parley
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  • 2A conference of members of a legislative body who belong to a particular party or faction.

    ‘Mr. Kerry attended the morning caucus in the Old Senate Chamber where his fellow Democrats selected the new minority leadership’
    • ‘How can a caucus of National Party members sign off on that and give that mandate to their leader?’
    • ‘An opposition party's legislative caucus can coordinate its members in policy promotion.’
    • ‘DPP caucus whip William Lai yesterday called on opposition parties to respond positively to the government's goodwill gesture.’
    • ‘However, the party's legislative caucus countered the media reports during a press conference yesterday morning.’
    • ‘The National Women's Studies Association, to take another example, has a complex and effective system of representation for group caucuses in its decision-making bodies.’
    • ‘If the primaries are killed in these states, the parties will use caucuses or state conventions to decide which candidate's delegates will go to the national convention.’
    • ‘I mean I've got my own ideas and I'll be part of that but our caucus will decide that.’
    • ‘Under the US-backed plan, regional caucuses would select an interim assembly by the end of May and this body would pick a transitional government the following month.’
    • ‘The meeting, attended by all five legislative caucuses, attempted to thrash out a preliminary consensus before today's meeting.’
    • ‘The party's headquarters and its legislative caucus thus become ‘outsiders’ in the regime.’
    • ‘Whether chosen by primaries or by caucuses, U.S. House candidates are going to be chosen by state-level procedures.’
    • ‘Party members had no opportunity to comment on these radical new ideas because Harris never allowed the booklet or its policies to be debated at a party meeting or a caucus of Conservative MPPs.’
    • ‘I know how the Democrats got my number - probably when I attended the democratic caucus last year.’
    • ‘If the caucus decide that's the way to go, or not to go, it's a majority decision.’
    • ‘The conveners were decided according to an agreement reached by leaders of legislative caucuses on Tuesday.’
    • ‘The initial plan was for regional caucuses to select a transitional assembly by the end of May.’
    • ‘What are the ideas that a new Kerry administration would draw from the congressional Democratic caucus?’
    • ‘Instead, the Nov.15 agreement provides for parliament members to be selected in 18 regional caucuses.’
    • ‘The US intends to have carefully-vetted regional caucuses select members of a provisional national assembly.’
    • ‘But the KMT caucus yesterday said it was opposed to the use of radical methods in dealing with the issue.’
    parliamentary party
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    1. 2.1 The members of a legislative body who belong to a particular party or faction, considered as a group.
      ‘he expected that 50 to 60 Republicans would join a united Democratic caucus in voting for a resolution condemning the idea’
      • ‘‘The caucuses should respect committee decisions, in line with the principles of professionalism and reciprocity,’ he said.’
      • ‘To this end, the Panthers forged alliances with nonblack leftists and established trade-union caucuses.’
      • ‘Beijing has caused the two sides of the Strait to drift further apart and seriously hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese people, the caucus said in a statement.’
      • ‘However, the caucuses of the Non-partisan Alliance and the TSU withdrew their consent yesterday, which resulted in an angry reaction from the KMT and the PFP.’
      • ‘Ruling and opposition party legislative caucuses finally reached a consensus on Wednesday to halve the number of legislative seats.’
      • ‘Although the party's legislative caucus apologized for the low turnout of DPP members yesterday, they said they shouldn't shoulder all of the responsibility.’
    2. 2.2 An informal group composed of legislators who have shared concerns or interests.
      ‘a member of the Congressional Black Caucus’
      ‘the Knesset's Christian allies caucus’
  • 3A group within an organization or political party which meets independently to discuss strategy or tactics.

    ‘up to fifty caucuses met daily on conference grounds to discuss lobbying strategies’
    ‘he was forced out by a hard-left caucus which had taken over his constituency party’
    faction, camp, bloc, group, gang, set, band, ring, party, league, cabal, camarilla, clique, coterie, junta, pressure group
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verbcaucuses, caucused, caucusing

[no object]US
  • 1Hold or form a legislative caucus.

    ‘Republicans briefly caucused’
    ‘there is one Independent who caucuses with the Democrats’
    1. 1.1 (of a voter) attend an electoral caucus, especially on behalf of a particular candidate.
      ‘more than half of those young people that caucused yesterday caucused for Barack Obama’


Mid 18th century: perhaps from Algonquian cau'-cau'-as'u ‘adviser’.