filibuster

noun
fil·​i·​bus·​ter | \ ˈfi-lə-ˌbə-stər How to pronounce filibuster (audio) \

Definition of filibuster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an irregular military adventurer specifically : an American engaged in fomenting insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century

2 [ 2filibuster ]

a : the use of extreme dilatory (see dilatory sense 1) tactics (as by making long speeches) in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly
b : an instance of this practice The filibuster delayed the voting on the bill for over a week.

filibuster

verb
filibustered; filibustering\ ˈfi-​lə-​ˌbə-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce filibustering (audio) \

Definition of filibuster (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to carry out insurrectionist activities in a foreign country
2 : to engage in a filibuster

transitive verb

: to subject to a filibuster

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Other Words from filibuster

Verb

filibusterer \ ˈfi-​lə-​ˌbə-​stər-​ər How to pronounce filibusterer (audio) \ noun

Examples of filibuster in a Sentence

Noun

They engaged in a filibuster that lasted for over a week.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump’s relative success on this front is due, in large part, to Republicans’ control of the Senate and the Democrats’ decision in 2013 to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominees for lower courts. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Think President Trump Is About to Remake the Federal Judiciary? To Some Degree, He Already Has," 8 July 2018 There will be no avoiding a confirmation vote, since the president’s party controls the Senate — especially since the Senate did away with the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations. Michele L. Swers, Washington Post, "Will Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski support Trump’s Supreme Court nominee? Here’s what history tells us.," 6 July 2018 But the legislative filibuster isn’t a democratic norm. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Chuck Schumer Is Secretly Sabotaging the Next Democratic President," 28 June 2018 The change to rules in 1917 that created the modern filibuster but required 67 votes to do so. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Trump is obsessed with going 'nuclear' in the Senate," 2 Apr. 2018 Senate Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky threatened filibusters on Twitter shortly after the House vote. Billy House, Bloomberg.com, "House Backs Warrantless-Spying Bill After Confusion Over Trump Tweets," 12 Jan. 2018 House Republicans have already approved $5 billion for Trump’s wall, but in the Senate, where Republicans need Democratic support to prevent a filibuster, a bipartisan bill allocates $1.6 billion. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Government funding, border wall await lame-duck Congress," 13 Nov. 2018 Under current Senate precedent to break a filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, 51 senators must vote to end debate. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Supreme Court set to begin new term with empty seat amid Kavanaugh uncertainty," 24 Sep. 2018 Otherwise, a filibuster could hold up a nomination indefinitely. CBS News, "Nuclear option: Why Trump's Supreme Court pick needs only 51 votes," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dyer introduced the bill at each subsequent session, and in 1922, the bill passed the House only to be filibustered in the Senate. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "By passing the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act this week, the Senate acknowledged its role in decades of racial terrorism.," 21 Dec. 2018 And though Democrats did not filibuster Bork’s nomination, the process helped lead to recent efforts by both parties to limit the minority party’s filibuster rights on nominations. Jm Rieger, Washington Post, "How years of fighting — and hypocrisy — over Senate filibuster rules led to this moment," 5 July 2018 Louis, threatened to filibuster every House bill besides the state's budget until impeachment proceedings begin. Jason Hancock, Allison Kite And Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "He gave Eric Greitens $2 million. Now he wants the governor to resign | The Kansas City Star," 12 Apr. 2018 When Bush go, in, the Democrats began to filibuster his picks beginning with Miguel Estrada, fearful that his being seated on the D.C. Circuit would set up a future (INAUDIBLE) the Supreme Court -- WALLACE: OK. Fox News, "Amb. Jon Huntsman previews the Trump-Putin summit," 16 July 2018 Senate Democrats threatened to filibuster Kavanaugh's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court, accusing him of being a political operative and rubber stamp for Bush. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Winners and losers from Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination," 10 July 2018 Republicans retaliated by filibustering his judicial nominees 3. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Mitch McConnell Committed a Judicial Heist and Blames Obama for His Crime," 31 May 2018 McConnell eliminated the exception for filibustering the Supreme Court First, Step 1 never happened. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Mitch McConnell Committed a Judicial Heist and Blames Obama for His Crime," 31 May 2018 When the Democrats filibustered Mr. Gorsuch’s nomination last year, Senate Republicans voted to remove another element of the minority party’s power to exert influence in the chamber, eliminating filibusters on Supreme Court nominees. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "Republicans Can Confirm Kennedy’s Successor Without Democratic Votes," 29 June 2018

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

Noun

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1851, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for filibuster

Noun and Verb

Spanish filibustero, literally, freebooter

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Statistics for filibuster

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for filibuster

The first known use of filibuster was in 1851

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More Definitions for filibuster

filibuster

noun

English Language Learners Definition of filibuster

chiefly US : an effort to prevent action in a legislature (such as the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) by making a long speech or series of speeches

filibuster

noun
fil·​i·​bus·​ter | \ ˈfi-lə-ˌbəs-tər How to pronounce filibuster (audio) \

Legal Definition of filibuster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the use of extreme dilatory tactics in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly also : an instance of this practice

filibuster

verb
filibustered; filibustering

Legal Definition of filibuster (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in a filibuster

transitive verb

: to subject to a filibuster

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More from Merriam-Webster on filibuster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with filibuster

Spanish Central: Translation of filibuster

Nglish: Translation of filibuster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about filibuster

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