AskDefine | Define congeries

Dictionary Definition

congeries n : a sum total of many heterogenous things taken together [syn: aggregate, conglomeration]

User Contributed Dictionary




  • italbrac RP /ˈkɒnʤəri:z/ or /kənˈʤɪəri:z/
  • italbrac US /ˈkɑːnʤəri:z/


  1. A collection or aggregation of disparate items.


  • 1898 — William McKinley, Second State of the Union Address
    The world has seen the postal system developed from a congeries of independent and exclusive services into a well-ordered union, of which all countries enjoy the manifold benefits.
  • 1928 — Virginia Woolf, Orlando
    By short cuts known to him, he made his way now through the vast congeries of rooms and staircases to the banqueting-hall, five acres distant on the other side of the house.
  • 1932 — H. P. Lovecraft, Dreams in the Witch-House
    Two of the less irrelevantly moving things - a rather large congeries of iridescent, prolately spheroidal bubbles and a very much smaller polyhedron of unknown colours and rapidly shifting surface angles - seemed to take notice of him and follow him about or float ahead as he changed position...
  • 2003 — Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason (Penguin 2004, p. 243)
    That whole congeries of values was now in question.
  • 2005 - John Banville, The Sea (Picador 2005, p216)
    It was not what I was that I disliked, I mean the singular, essential me - although I grant that even the notion of an essential, singular self is problematic - but the congeries of affects, inclinations, received ideas, class tics, that my birth and upbringing had bestowed on me in place of a personality.

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