What Does Call a Meeting to Order Mean?

To Call a Meeting to Order Meaning

Definition: To open or begin a meeting.

In most meetings, people have many topics that they need to cover within a finite amount of time. Therefore, they need to be formal and on-topic. People may even “take minutes,” or make a written record of what is happening, in a formal meeting.

To keep meeting participants in line and focused throughout the duration of a meeting, someone will start the meeting by calling it to order.

When someone calls the meeting to order, he or she might directly say, “I call this meeting to order,” or he or she may use another phrase to signify calling the meeting to order (such as when someone says “all rise” in a courtroom).

Either way, this is a signal to those at the meeting involved that they need to be ready to be serious and focused.

Origin of Call a Meeting to Order

call in a meetingThis phrase may have been created for government uses. It has been used for centuries as a way to organize members of Parliament and other governing bodies.

Typically, there is an agenda to a meeting, and the items on this agenda may also be called “orders.” When someone calls a meeting to order, he is announcing that it is time to deal with the items on the agenda.

It is also related to the phrase “orders of the day,” which is sometimes used in business to describe what will happen that day.

Examples of Call a Meeting to Order

to call for a meetingWhen a group of executives at a business have gathered and are all seated in a room, the leader of the executives will say,

  • I call this meeting to order. Let’s begin by going over our schedule for the meeting…

Everybody will know to listen to him when he calls the meeting to order.

More Examples

  • The Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad meeting, adjourned from yesterday afternoon was called to order at 12 noon today, President ELDRIDGE in the Chair.  –New York Times
  • Gargan says that vote to remove him as chairman doesn’t count because he never called the meeting to order. –CNN


The phrase to call a meeting to order is to officially begin the meeting.