clo·​ture | \ ˈklō-chər How to pronounce cloture (audio) \

Definition of cloture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the closing or limitation of debate in a legislative body especially by calling for a vote


clotured; cloturing; clotures

Definition of cloture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to close (debate) in a legislative body by cloture Debate over the bill was short Tuesday evening. After an initial debate Tuesday afternoon, Senate Republicans clotured debate when the bill returned later in the day.— Brian Lyman

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Examples of cloture in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The next immediate step in the Senate will be Friday’s cloture vote. Li Zhou, Vox, "Kavanaugh’s nomination just moved one step closer to a floor vote," 4 Oct. 2018 Democrats file cloture on every nominee, which kicks off 30 hours of debate even if no Senator is opposed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Ending the Nominations Blockade," 9 Oct. 2018 If a cloture were filed on Saturday, then, the layover day would be Sunday. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Supreme Court set to begin new term with empty seat amid Kavanaugh uncertainty," 24 Sep. 2018 This is important because any member of the minority can try to block a cloture motion by using a filibuster. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The nuclear option, explained.," 21 Dec. 2018 Because of that higher threshold for success, in recent years the cloture vote has essentially become the real vote determining whether a bill or amendment will pass. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The nuclear option, explained.," 21 Dec. 2018 So how does the cloture process slow everything down? Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, "Trump’s complaint that it will take 9 years to get all his nominations approved," 23 Apr. 2018 As the Senate moved toward this week’s cloture vote, Democrats, liberal interest groups and their media allies wrapped a full opposition campaign to Kobes around this ABA assessment. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The ABA Strikes Back," 29 Nov. 2018 And cloture on Supreme Court nominees was only invoked four times before the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch last year. Jm Rieger, Washington Post, "How years of fighting — and hypocrisy — over Senate filibuster rules led to this moment," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloture.' 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 cloture


1871, in the meaning defined above


1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cloture


French clôture, literally, closure, alteration of Middle French closure

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Dictionary Entries near cloture


clotting factor






Statistics for cloture

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for cloture

The first known use of cloture was in 1871

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More Definitions for cloture


clo·​ture | \ ˈklō-chər How to pronounce cloture (audio) \

Legal Definition of cloture

: the closing or limitation of debate in a legislative body especially by calling for a vote

Other Words from cloture

cloture transitive verb

History and Etymology for cloture

French clôture, literally, closure

More from Merriam-Webster on cloture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cloture Encyclopedia article about cloture

Comments on cloture

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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