caucus

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v caucus meet to select a candidate or promote a policy
    • n caucus a closed political meeting
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Caucus 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. "This day learned that the caucus club meets, at certain times, in the garret of Tom Dawes, the adjutant of the Boston regiment."
    • v. i Caucus To hold, or meet in, a caucus or caucuses.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n caucus In U. S. politics:
    • n caucus A local meeting of the voters of a party to nominate candidates for local offices, or to elect delegates to a convention for the nomination of more important officers. In the latter sense, caucuses are now generally called primaries. Admission to a party caucus is generally open only to known and registered members of the party.
    • n caucus A similar congressional, legislative, or other gathering of leading members of a party for conference as to party measures and policy. Candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States were nominated by party caucuses of members of Congress from 1800 to 1824.
    • n caucus Any meeting of managers or of interested persons for the purpose of deciding upon a line of policy, an arrangement of business, etc., to be brought before a larger meeting, as a convention.
    • n caucus In Eng. politics, a large local committee of voters for the management of all electioneering business of its party: called the Birmingham system, from its introduction at Birmingham about 1880.
    • caucus To meet in caucus; come together and confer.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Caucus kaw′kus a private meeting of political wire-pullers to agree upon candidates to be proposed for an ensuing election, or to fix the business to be laid before a general meeting of their party: applied loosely to any influential committee in a constituency.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Etymology uncertain. Mr. J. H. Trumbull finds the origin of caucus, in the N. A. Indian word cawcawwassough, or caú cau-as'u, one who urges or pushes on, a promoter. See citation for an early use of the word caucus,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ety. dub.; perh. John Smith's Algonkin word Caw-cawaassough, an adviser; perh. a corr. of 'caulkers' meetings.'

Usage

In literature:

It was a chastened group of Federalist Congressmen who met in caucus on May 3, after the disheartening tidings from New York.
"Union and Democracy" by Allen Johnson
Meantime, a congressional caucus renominated Madison.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
Far up in some of the trees, noisy crows had sometimes been seen, holding a caucus; but just then even these seemed strangely absent.
"Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay" by G. Harvey Ralphson
These thoughts thronged his mind as he stood apart and alone after his rebuff by the caucusing members of the school board.
"The Brown Mouse" by Herbert Quick
Clackett, he says he guesses Katy meant 'caucus,' but that don't throw no more light on the matter, if it does.
"The Brass Bound Box" by Evelyn Raymond
They learned also how political caucuses and conventions are managed.
"History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III)" by Various
They get together and then decide on a caucus nominee.
"Old Man Curry" by Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
In fact, even the deliberations of the workmen's caucuses must have been known to Gage.
"The Siege of Boston" by Allen French
Then three and a half years ago, after a long caucus with myself, I quit.
"The Old Game" by Samuel G. Blythe
It is felt in every caucus, in every nominating convention and at every election.
"The Railroad Question" by William Larrabee
He said you lied to your constituents, and went back on the caucus and had!
"Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 4, January 26, 1884" by Various
Women are not authorized to attend caucuses or have any voice in nominations of school officers.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV" by Various
The Republicans caucused and agreed to vote for ratification.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI" by Various
The acts of caucus were despotic, mandatory, and decisive.
"The Galaxy" by Various
These colleges have no independence, and most mechanically register the decrees of caucuses.
"The Galaxy, June 1877" by Various
This is the power, well recognized, which makes the nominating caucus the government.
"Belford's Magazine, Vol 2, December 1888" by Various
He declined to put himself under a pledge to abide by the will of a caucus.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 94, August, 1865" by Various
The next method was for the legislative caucus to name the man.
"The Greater Republic" by Charles Morris
Always, except when political dinners or party caucus kept him too late, she found him pacing the corridor outside her dressing-room.
"The Dual Alliance" by Marjorie Benton Cooke
I'll not with Caucus gudgeons wait, Prepared to gorge whatever bait.
"Punch, or the London Charivari. Volume 93, September 10, 1887" by Various
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In poetry:

It seems they called a caucus wise
Of rats of every age and size,
And then their dean,
With sapient mien,
A very Solon of a rat,
Said it was best to bell the cat.
"How The Cat Was Belled" by Carolyn Wells
Mr. Dooddle called his Caucus .... And he put it to them tersely:
"Gentlemen, it now behoves us, seeing all the votes we've got,
To be very, very careful lest we're criticised adversely.
Never mind the Red-haired voters; we have got them in the pot.
"Git-Yer-Gun" by C J Dennis

In news:

Mankato — The first real presidential showdown will be happening in fewer than three weeks when Iowa will hold its caucus.
Margaret Warner reports from Iowa on tonight's caucuses, the first major event in selecting the 2004 Democratic nominee for president.
Lynn Woolsey , co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said after the vote that she would soon advance a separate bill for a strong public option.
Latino caucus endorses Assemblywoman Norma Torres.
Rabbis in several congregations are urging their Republican congregants to show up, lest the public dismiss the caucus as a needless accommodation .
There already has been a lot of talk about fiscal matters, "grand bargains" and sorting out party caucuses.
Maine 2nd District Rep Mike Michaud was selected by the House Democratic Caucus today, and the appointment became effective immediately following the resignation of Rep Bob Filner of California.
Independent Senator-Elect Angus King will affiliate with the Democratic Caucus.
The assignments are subject to caucus and full Senate approval.
Should We Care So Much About the Iowa Caucus.
The former governor said he's trying to make a decision on which party to caucus with in time for the leadership votes both parties will hold Wednesday.
Launching the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking Wednesday, Sens Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cleaver's statement on the resignation of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
Lynn Woolsey, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said after the vote that she would soon advance a separate bill for a strong public option.
Years ago, as a novice representative from California, Nancy Pelosi sat quietly at many a caucus meeting while her colleagues discussed how they were going to bring peace to the Middle East and a chicken to every pot.
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