n. pl. cau·cus·es or cau·cus·ses
a. A meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office.
b. A closed meeting of party members within a legislative body to decide on questions of policy or leadership.
c. A group within a legislative or decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest or influence a particular area of policy: a minority caucus.
2. Chiefly British A committee within a political party charged with determining policy.
v. cau·cused, cau·cus·ing, cau·cus·es or cau·cussed or cau·cus·sing or cau·cus·ses
To assemble in or hold a caucus.
To assemble or canvass (members of a caucus).
[After the Caucus Club of Boston, an influential Colonial political organization around the time of the American Revolution , perhaps from Medieval Latin caucus, drinking vessel, variant of Latin caucum; akin to Greek kaukos (both Greek and Latin being borrowed from the same unknown source).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus