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

First Known Use of checks and balances

1787


CHECKS AND BALANCES Defined for English Language Learners

checks and balances

noun

Definition of checks and balances for English Language Learners

  • : 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


Law Dictionary

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

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