Definition of congress in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkäNGɡrəs/


1 (Congress) A national legislative body, especially that of the US. The US Congress, which meets at the Capitol in Washington DC, was established by the Constitution of 1787 and is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives: changes in taxation required the approval of Congress legislative power is held by a 72-member National Congress
More example sentences
  • As you know, I have spend most of week up on Capitol Hill covering the Congress.
  • She could get seven years and says she plans to take her case to the United Nations and the U.S. Congress.
  • The Congress of the United States and the president of the United States unite.
legislature, legislative assembly, senate, house, house of representatives, parliament, convocation, diet, council, chamber
1.1A particular session of the US Congress: the 104th Congress
More example sentences
  • He was on this game in the final session of the last congress.
  • Sixty-four Republicans voted for even a stronger bill in the House in the last Congress.
  • During the 102nd Congress and the recently concluded 103rd Congress, the period covered by the study, not one important anti-tobacco initiative was passed.
2A formal meeting or series of meetings for discussion between delegates, especially those from a political party or labor union or from within a particular discipline: an international congress of mathematicians
More example sentences
  • In the past, disputes at Green party congresses were often vehement and passionate, although usually conducted on a very low level.
  • At the same time, the party congress was instructive in exposing the political background of the latest round of anti-foreigner and German nationalist agitation.
  • Hundreds of psychologists from all over the world attend our annual conventions, and hundreds of U.S. psychologists attend international congresses and other overseas meetings each year.
conference, convention, seminar, colloquium, symposium, forum, meeting, assembly, gathering, rally, summit
3A society or organization, especially a political one: the National Congress of American Indians
More example sentences
  • Her next job was at Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, as a Child Health Coordinator.
  • The National Congress of Indians provides national leadership on issues facing tribal communities throughout the United States.
  • The Congress of Neurological Surgeons exists to enhance health and improve lives worldwide through the advancement of education and scientific exchange.
4The action of coming together: sexual congress
More example sentences
  • Violent husbands offer excuses that range from the wife not doing housework, her frequent visits to her parents' home, or refusing the husband's request for sexual congress.
  • The dictionary says that ‘tupping’ describes what rams do to ewes but I first came across it being used in relation to human sexual congress.
  • While society has thankfully moved on from the ignorant days when homosexuality was a crime, it is still against the law to indulge in any kind of sexual congress in a public place, and quite rightly so.


Late Middle English (denoting an encounter during battle): from Latin congressus, from congredi 'meet', from con- 'together' + gradi 'walk'.

  • A congress once meant an encounter during battle: it is from Latin congressus, from congredi ‘meet’, literally ‘walk together’. Use for any ‘coming together’ is reflected in obsolete or archaic uses such as social congress, sexual congress.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·gress

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