bi·​par·​ti·​san (ˌ)bī-ˈpär-tə-zən How to pronounce bipartisan (audio)
 chiefly British  ˌbī-ˌpä-tə-ˈzan
: 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
bipartisanism noun
bipartisanship noun

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.

Examples of bipartisan in a Sentence

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 Wilentz, Newsweek, 27 Jan. 2009
Seasoned observers of Washington tend to dismiss such talk of national unity and bipartisan cooperation as meaningless political boilerplate … Larissa MacFarquhar, New Yorker, 7 May 2007
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. Shawitz, New Republic, 6 Nov. 2000
The bill has bipartisan support.
Recent Examples on the Web Torian said his position is that the General Assembly did its job — passed a balanced budget with bipartisan support — and should not be asked by the governor to second-guess itself. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2024 No Labels were formed in 2010 to foster bipartisan cooperation. Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 5 Apr. 2024 When Social Security last faced an insolvency crisis, in 1983, Congress passed a bipartisan solution that included raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 in recognition of increasing lifespans. Karl W. Smith, The Mercury News, 5 Apr. 2024 The geopolitical games have intensified with bipartisan support for anti-China initiatives. Diane Brady, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2024 This year, Republican Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama emphasized her role as a mother in her State of the Union rebuttal, and Reps. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida and Sara Jacobs of California introduced a bipartisan bill in January to allow women to vote by proxy up to six weeks after giving birth. Caitlin Babcock, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Apr. 2024 To expand 702, though, intelligence officials have to overcome the significant concerns of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who believe the powerful surveillance tool has been misused in the past, including to inappropriately spy on Americans. USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2024 The other bill, sponsored by Rep. Quang Nguyen, R-Prescott Valley, was blocked by Shope's Health and Human Services Committee last month, despite passing the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. Sahana Jayaraman, The Arizona Republic, 4 Apr. 2024 The bill has bipartisan support as well — Sens. Angelique Ashby, D-Sacramento, and Aisha Wahab, D-Hayward, are joint authors. Andrew Sheeler, Sacramento Bee, 4 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bipartisan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bipartisan was in 1891


Dictionary Entries Near bipartisan

Cite this Entry

“Bipartisan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bi·​par·​ti·​san (ˈ)bī-ˈpärt-ə-zən How to pronounce bipartisan (audio)
: representing, made up of, or organized by members of two political parties
a bipartisan foreign policy

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