Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political parties or other groups. The term originated in Late Middle English to denote an encounter (meeting of adversaries) during battle, from the Latin congressus.
The following congresses were formal meetings of representatives of different nations:
In the mid-1770s, to emphasize each one's status as a self-governing entity, the term was chosen by the British colonies that became the United States of America. The term has since been adopted by many nations to refer to their legislatures.
Many political parties have a party congress every few years to make decisions for the party and elect governing bodies, while others call it a party convention. Congress is included in the name of several political parties, especially those in former British colonies:
Organizations in some athletic sports, such as bowling, have historically been named "congresses". The predecessors to the United States Bowling Congress (formed in 1995) were the American Bowling Congress (founded in 1895) and the Women's International Bowling Congress (founded in 1927).
A chess congress is a chess tournament, in one city, where a large number of contestants gather to play competitive chess over a limited period of time; typically one day to one week.