caucus

A caucus is a meeting in which leaders and insiders set the agenda and policy of a larger organization or select candidates for office. It also can be used as a verb meaning to meet in a caucus.

The etymology is uncertain and there are several competing hypotheses. It has been claimed to date to before 1736, but the first recorded use of the term is from 1763 in John Adams’s diary:

This day learned that the caucus club meets, at certain times, in the garret of Tom Dawes.

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