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Congeries definition and meaning

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Home British & World English congeries

Definition of congeries in English:



  • A disorderly collection; a jumble.

    ‘a congeries of European states’
    • ‘It is difficult not to believe that at times our judges, in trying to craft general principles from of a confusing congeries of conflicting case-law, have simply failed adequately to understand it or the principles behind it.’
    • ‘But this distinction does nothing to encourage us to think in terms of a single super-system or total view, rather than a congeries of relatively independent sub-systems.’
    • ‘Japan’s most established party of government was formed in 1955 as a congeries of centre and conservative groupings with the encouragement of business interests.’
    • ‘As an archetypal constellation, he treats the trickster both as a congeries of abstractions and as a powerful, sometimes inspiring, sometimes destructive, and often possessing psychological force.’
    • ‘To a materialist, we are just congeries of atoms; and atoms must go whithersoever they are driven by the laws of physics and blind chance.’
    • ‘It overshadows all other holidays and specialized days of whatever sort in that congeries of colonies.’
    • ‘He endorses the conventional assumption that virtu is the name of that congeries of qualities which enables a prince to ally with Fortune and obtain honour, glory, and fame.’
    • ‘This congeries of topics enhances his story of the development of early American crime literature.’
    • ‘Classical atomists conceived the universe as nothing more than an eternal congeries of material particles of different shapes and sizes perpetually in motion and continually coalescing to form unstable natural bodies.’
    • ‘Whence this peculiar congeries of views, advanced with supreme self-confidence and heedless inattention to fact?’
    • ‘Perhaps what is most remarkable about this elaborate congeries of thematic threads is that they never lead the poem into preciousness or turn it into an exercise in facility.’
    • ‘Business in his day was a congeries of disconnected ventures.’
    • ‘In the very earliest works, humankind is most often figured as species, positioned within geological epochs and in elemental settings, rather than as a congeries of social beings within a recognizably human history.’
    • ‘Well, what about this particular congeries of curses?’
    • ‘The Dutch artist’s vocabulary consists of forms such as beds; materials such as blankets, paper and string; and congeries of miscellaneous and banal found objects often presented in groups of five.’
    • ‘It was on the periphery that the idea of ‘the British Empire as a congeries of territories linked by their commerce, united with common interests and centred politically upon London’ was most compelling.’
    • ‘This is a point that may yet come home to cities that are currently embracing big-box retail development in place of the congeries of small shops and homes that exist now.’
    • ‘The country, then a congeries of local economies and cultures, was not seeking what the presidential office was constitutionally designed to offer, namely, energetic leadership in behalf of national initiatives.’
    • ‘They started as congeries of commercial partnerships with a shared interest in excluding interlopers and securing the safety of their ships and fixed assets in parts of the world where no efficient or friendly state was to be found.’
    • ‘For the Galaxy is nothing else than a congeries of innumerable stars distributed in clusters.’
    untidy heap, confused heap, clutter, muddle, mess, confusion, welter, disarray, disarrangement, tangle, litter

    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from Latin congeries ‘heap, pile’, from congerere ‘heap up’.




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