"1 more than fourteen; the number which is one more than fourteen; a symbol representing this number;" Old English fiftyne, from fif "five" (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") + tyne (see -teen). For vowel shift, see met (v.). Cognate with Old Saxon fiftein, Old Frisian fiftine, Old Norse fimtan, Swedish femton, Dutch vijftien, German fünfzehn, Gothic fimftaihun "fifteen." French quinze, Italian quindici "fifteen" are from Latin quindecim (from quinque "five;" see quinque-; + -decim (see -teen). The number of players forming a side in rugby.
c. 1400, "a body of attendants; also "meeting of armed forces" (mid-15c.); sense of "a coming together of people, a meeting of individuals" is from 1520s; from Latin congressus "a friendly meeting; a hostile encounter," past participle of congredi "to meet with; to fight with," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + gradi "to walk," from gradus "a step" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go").
Meaning "sexual union" is from 1580s. Specific sense of "a meeting of delegates, formal meeting of persons having a representational character" is first recorded 1670s. Used in reference to the national legislative body of the American states (with a capital C-) since 1775 (from 1765 in America as a name for proposed bodies).
The three sittings of the Continental Congress, representing the 13 rebellious American colonies, met 1774, 1775-6, and 1776-81. The Congress of the Confederation met from 1781-89, and the Congress of the United States met from March 4, 1789. The Congress of Vienna met Nov. 1, 1814, to June 8, 1815, and redrew the map of Europe with an eye to creating a balance of powers after the disruptions of Napoleon.
public place of assembly in ancient Athens, where the people met for the discussion of political affairs of the state, from Greek pnyx, which is probably from pyknos "dense, solid; numerous; packed, crowded," a word of uncertain origin.
1580s, "frequently met with" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin obvius "that is in the way, presenting itself readily, open, exposed, commonplace," from obviam (adv.) "in the way," from ob "in front of, against" (see ob-) + viam, accusative of via "way" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"). Meaning "plain to see, evident" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Obviously; obviousness.
Middle English mēten, from Old English metan "to find, find out; fall in with, encounter, come into the same place with; obtain," from Proto-Germanic *motjanan (source also of Old Norse mæta, Old Frisian meta, Old Saxon motian "to meet," Gothic gamotijan), from PIE root *mod- "to meet, assemble." Related to Old English gemot "meeting."
By c. 1300, of things, "to come into physical contact with, join by touching or uniting with;" also, of persons, "come together by approaching from the opposite direction; come into collision with, combat." Abstractly, "to come upon, encounter (as in meet with approval, meet one's destiny) by late 14c. Sense of "come into conformity with, be or act in agreement with" (as in meet expectations) is by 1690s.
Intransitive sense, of people, "to come together" is from mid-14c.; of members of an organized body or society, "to assemble," by 1520s. Related: Met; meeting. To meet (someone) halfway in the figurative sense "make mutual and equal concessions to" is from 1620s. Well met as a salutation of compliment is by mid-15c.
name of a club founded by Whig politicians in London (Addison and Steele were members), 1703; so called from Christopher ("Kit") Catling, or a name similar to it, a tavernkeeper or pastry cook in London, in whose property the club first met. Hence "a size of portrait less than half length in which a hand may be shown" (1754), supposedly is because the dining room in which portraits of club members hung was too low for half-length portraits.