noun \ˈfi-lə-ˌbəs-tər\

: an effort to prevent action in a legislature (such as the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) by making a long speech or series of speeches

Full Definition of FILIBUSTER

:  an irregular military adventurer; specifically :  an American engaged in fomenting insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century
a :  the use of extreme dilatory tactics in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly
b :  an instance of this practice

Examples of FILIBUSTER

  1. They engaged in a filibuster that lasted for over a week.


Spanish filibustero, literally, freebooter
First Known Use: 1851

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


filibusteredfilibuster·ing \-t(ə-)riŋ\

Definition of FILIBUSTER

intransitive verb
:  to carry out insurrectionist activities in a foreign country
:  to engage in a filibuster
transitive verb
:  to subject to a filibuster
fil·i·bus·ter·er \-tər-ər\ noun

First Known Use of FILIBUSTER



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tactic of delaying action on a bill by talking long enough to wear down the majority in order to win concessions or force withdrawal of the bill. The tactic is normally employed by a group that cannot muster enough votes to defeat a bill by vote. Filibustering is possible in the U.S. Senate because Senate rules allow unlimited debate on a bill. A filibuster may be carried out by a group or a single member, and the speech need not be related to the bill under discussion. Calling for a vote to limit debate (cloture)—which requires 60 votes, the votes of three-fifths of the entire membership, in the U.S. Senate—or holding around-the-clock sessions to tire the speakers are measures used to defeat filibusters.


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