adjective bi·par·ti·san \ (ˌ)bī-ˈpär-tə-zən , -sən , -ˌzan , chiefly British ˌbī-ˌpä-tə-ˈzan \
|Updated on: 2 Aug 2018

Definition of bipartisan

: of, relating to, or involving members of two parties
  • a bipartisan commission
; specifically : marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties
  • bipartisan support for the bill


play \-zə-ˌni-zəm, -sə-\ noun


play \-zən-ˌship, -sən-\ noun

bipartisan was our Word of the Day on 11/13/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of bipartisan in a Sentence

  1. In his first Inaugural Address, Jefferson sounded a conciliatory, bipartisan note, averring that "we are all Republicans, we are all Federalists"—a trope copied in many inaugural addresses to follow. —Sean WilentzNewsweek27 Jan. 2009
  2. Seasoned observers of Washington tend to dismiss such talk of national unity and bipartisan cooperation as meaningless political boilerplate … —Larissa MacFarquharNew Yorker7 May 2007
  3. Two recent national bipartisan blue-ribbon panels, the National Research Council Committee on Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children and the National Reading Panel, came to converging conclusions. —Bennet A. ShawitzNew Republic6 Nov. 2000
  4. The bill has bipartisan support.

Recent Examples of bipartisan from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bipartisan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Bipartisan is a two-part word. The first element is the prefix bi-, which means "two"; the second is partisan, a word that traces through Middle French and north Italian dialect to the Latin part- or pars, meaning "part." Partisan itself has a long history as a word in English. It has been used as a noun in reference to a firm adherent to a party, faction, or cause (especially one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance), since the 16th century. The related adjective (meaning "of, relating to, or characteristic of a partisan") appeared in the 19th century, as did, after a space of some 50 years, the adjective bipartisan.

First Known Use of bipartisan


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BIPARTISAN Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of bipartisan for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or involving members of two political parties

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