1. A formal assembly of representatives, as of various nations, to discuss problems.
2. The national legislative body of a nation, especially a republic.
a. The national legislative body of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
b. The two-year session of this legislature between elections of the House of Representatives.
a. The act of coming together or meeting.
b. A single meeting, as of a political party or other group.
5. Sexual intercourse.
[Middle English congresse, body of attendants, from Latin congressus, meeting, from past participle of congredī, to meet : com-, com- + gradī, to go; see ghredh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.