Definition of senate in US English:



  • 1The smaller upper assembly in the US Congress, most US states, France, and other countries.

    • ‘He said results showed rejection of Democratic ‘obstructionism’ in the senate.’
    • ‘He was elected to the state assembly and then to the state senate, where he served 14 years.’
    • ‘The count has also supplied more than 40 French embassies; the French Prime Minister's residence; the senate and the French National Assembly.’
    • ‘I have been president of the senate for several years and the first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.’
    • ‘And the sad thing is that not a single woman in the legislature spoke up or even mentioned a single word in national assembly or the senate about these cases.’
    • ‘Candidates for the new senate must be at least 40 years old with a minimum education background of a bachelor's degree.’
    • ‘We have had here more than 200 potential investors, two governors of regions, one deputy minister, four ministers, the vice premier and the president of the Italian senate and there are still a lot to come.’
    • ‘Equal representation in a powerful upper house or senate is usually part of the deal done when the constitution in written, and the small states are generally keen on making it very difficult for these powers to be taken away later.’
    • ‘We also have a new parliament, a national assembly and a senate appointed by the different factions.’
    • ‘Governors, often elected by the legislatures for one-year terms, were denied the veto, and senates (the new upper houses) were not allowed to amend money bills.’
    • ‘The bicameral parliament is comprised of a senate and national assembly.’
    • ‘In a regular session, two-thirds of the senate must agree to bring a bill to the floor, meaning that even if the Republicans all voted together, they would have to pick up at least two Democrats.’
    • ‘However, because the state senate must convene again by July 19, the prospects for Real Reform are still very much alive.’
    • ‘This is no more the rule of the senate than it was the rule of the senate before not to filibuster.’
    • ‘People cannot go and sit in parliaments or senates to monitor their day-to-day affairs.’
    • ‘Although many senators had doubts about his appointment, the senate ratified it anyway.’
    • ‘Well, as I have mentioned before, the Australian senate is one of the most powerful upper houses in the world.’
    • ‘Because of him, we have the largest number of women policy-makers in the national assembly and senate today.’
    • ‘Before becoming law, the bill must be passed by the assembly and state senate, and signed by the governor.’
    • ‘The legislative branch is composed of a bicameral parliament with a senate appointed by the ruling party and an assembly chosen by popular vote.’
    1. 1.1 The governing body of a university or college.
      • ‘Six days after his arrest, and following consultation with members of his department and of the faculty senate, the university president acted to dismiss him.’
      • ‘Department reps will hold another mass protest outside the next meeting of the university senate, when the departments' future will be voted on.’
      • ‘Muhamad said the curfew was imposed at the request of the student senate and the university's student representative council.’
      • ‘Resolutions from the university senate and several protests, including a hunger strike by seventeen students, have sought to focus public attention on the disparity in benefits.’
      • ‘The faculty senate at Virginia State University was abolished in 2001.’
  • 2The state council of the ancient Roman republic and empire, which shared legislative power with the popular assemblies, administration with the magistrates, and judicial power with the knights.

    • ‘However, the Roman senate did not share their emperor's enthusiasm for the new faith.’
    • ‘On the Ides of March, two days before he was due to leave Rome on his great eastern expedition, he was stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate in Pompey's new theater.’
    • ‘With Cato's slogan ringing in their ears, with their jealousy of Carthage's economic success, the Roman senate decreed that the terms of the treaty had been violated and it duly declared war.’
    • ‘The senate, led by Cicero, supported Octavian, who defeated Antony in 43 and took the consulship by force.’
    • ‘With so many Senators gone, Caesar simply created new senators, doubling the size of the senate.’
    legislature, legislative assembly, congress, chamber, house, upper house, lower house, upper chamber, lower chamber, second chamber, convocation, diet, council, assembly, chamber of deputies
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Middle English: from Old French senat, from Latin senatus, from senex ‘old man’.