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CONGRESS, noun [Latin , to come together; to go or step; a step. See Grade and Degree.]

1. A meeting of individuals; an assembly of envoys, commissioners, deputies, etc., particularly a meeting of the representatives of several courts, to concert measures for their common good, or to adjust their mutual concerns.

2. The assembly of delegates of the several British Colonies in America, which united to resist the claims of Great Britain in 1774, and which declared the colonies independent.

3. The assembly of the delegates of the several United States, after the declaration of Independence, and until the adoption of the present constitution, and the organization of the government in 1789. During these periods, the congress consisted of one house only.

4. The assembly of senators and representatives of the several states of North America, according to the present constitution, or political compact, by which they are united in a federal republic; the legislature of the United States, consisting of two houses, a senate and a house of representatives. Members of the senate are elected for six years, but the members of the house of representatives are chosen for two years only. Hence the united body of senators and representatives for the two years , during which the representatives hold their seats is called one congress Thus we say the first or second session of the sixteenth congress

5. A meeting of two or more persons in a contest; an encounter; a conflict.

6. The meeting of the sexes in sexual commerce.