checks and balances

plural noun

Definition of checks and balances

: a system that allows each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch so as to prevent any one branch from exerting too much power

Examples of checks and balances in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This is not a company with rules and checks and balances. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "U.S. Considers Harshest Venezuela Sanctions Yet, on Oil," 14 Jan. 2019 Whatever your checks and balances are around delight and deliciousness, be sweet with them, Aquarius. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes October 8-14," 8 Oct. 2014 But in the end the legislative branch must enforce its own subpoenas and the justice department must comply with that otherwise our separation of powers and checks and balances is really in trouble. Fox News, "Meadows, Dershowitz react after Lisa Page defies subpoena," 12 July 2018 That was meant to deliver leaders hemmed in by checks and balances. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "Brexit Upends British Political System," 10 Dec. 2018 With Judge [Brett] Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court and those Republicans in Congress seeming to lack any sort of a backbone on the issue, there [are] no checks and balances on President Trump’s White House and the federal government. Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "Meet Will Haskell, the 22-Year-Old Who Beat a Republican Who Had Been in Office as Long as He’s Been Alive," 14 Nov. 2018 Critics say the new system undermines impartiality and could lead to one-man rule with limited checks and balances. Washington Post, "Erdogan inaugurates Turkey’s powerful executive presidency," 9 July 2018 Critics say the new system undermines impartiality and could lead to one-man rule with limited checks and balances. Washington Post, "Erdogan inaugurates Turkey’s powerful executive presidency," 9 July 2018 Critics say the new system undermines impartiality and could lead to one-man rule with limited checks and balances. Washington Post, "Erdogan inaugurates Turkey’s powerful executive presidency," 9 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of checks and balances

1787, in the meaning defined above

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checkroom

checkrow

checkrower

checks and balances

check sheet

check side

checkstones

Statistics for checks and balances

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for checks and balances

The first known use of checks and balances was in 1787

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More Definitions for checks and balances

checks and balances

noun

English Language Learners Definition of checks and balances

: a system in which the different parts of an organization (such as a government) have powers that affect and control the other parts so that no part can become too powerful

checks and balances

noun plural
checks and bal·​anc·​es | \ -ˈba-lən-səz\

Legal Definition of checks and balances

: the powers (as judicial review, the presidential veto, and the congressional override) conferred on each of the three branches of government by which each restrains the others from exerting too much power — see also separation of powers

More from Merriam-Webster on checks and balances

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about checks and balances

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