filibuster


1fil·i·bus·ter

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

1
:  an irregular military adventurer; specifically :  an American engaged in fomenting insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century
2
[2filibuster]
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.

Origin of FILIBUSTER

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

2filibuster

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

Definition of FILIBUSTER

intransitive verb
1
:  to carry out insurrectionist activities in a foreign country
2
:  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

1851

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.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: filibusterism
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Filibranchiata
All Words Near: filibuster

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up filibuster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More