filibuster

noun
fil·i·bus·ter | \ˈfi-lə-ˌbə-stər \

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 \

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 \ 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

Gone is the filibuster rule that required 60 votes to move forward. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Why Republicans Are Suddenly Thanking Harry Reid for a 2013 Tweet About Filibuster Reform," 28 June 2018 For a chief executive whose party controls the Senate, when a Supreme Court justice retires it’s like pulling four of a kind in poker — especially now that the GOP has abolished filibuster rules for Supreme Court confirmations. Liz Goodwin, BostonGlobe.com, "Kennedy’s retirement gives Trump another chance to make long-term impact," 28 June 2018 McConnell and his Republican colleagues lifted the filibuster rule during the 2017 nomination of current Justice Neil Gorsuch, meaning a simple majority is all that the GOP will need to push through the president's nominee. Abby Livingston And Emma Platoff, star-telegram, "Ted Cruz, John Cornyn likely to play big roles in picking Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement," 27 June 2018 The president suggested Senate Democrats would use the chamber's filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes for legislation to advance, to scuttle any bill that emerged from the House. Anchorage Daily News, "GOP immigration bills backed by Trump appear headed for defeat," 21 June 2018 In the Senate, the chamber's filibuster rules require a bipartisan process for a bill to pass. Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "Conservative revolt over immigration sinks House farm bill," 18 May 2018 But then, on final passage of the underlying measure, after three days of a Democratic filibuster, six Republican senators voted with all the Democrats to send the bill back to a committee, effectively killing it for the year. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "In South Carolina, a Red State Finally Rejects an Abortion Ban," 4 May 2018 His frustration with Congress was also reflected in his call Sunday for a change in Senate rules to eliminate the use of filibusters and enable legislation to pass with just 51 votes. Laura King, latimes.com, "In Easter Sunday tirade, a frustrated Trump suggests he will make no deal to help Dreamers," 1 Apr. 2018 After the hearing, Senator Cory Booker speculated that the elimination of the filibuster for judicial nominees has accelerated the process of selecting nominees whose careers prior to their nominations primarily involved political activism. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Some of Capitol Hill's Worst Problems Have Nothing to Do with Trump," 18 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Democrats lacked the votes to filibuster, and their grilling of Gorsuch wasn’t so much an indictment of his credentials as a spasm against the skulduggery that got him there. Simon Van Zuylen-wood, Daily Intelligencer, "How Neil Gorsuch Became the Second-Most-Polarizing Man in Washington," 28 May 2018 Today the Senate, which has to operate on the basis of bipartisanship because Democrats can filibuster legislation that doesn’t operate under some sort of special rules, passed its own version of the Farm bill by a much broader 86-11 margin. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Senate Clears Farm Bill, Setting Up Fight With House GOP Over SNAP," 28 June 2018 Democrats’ parliamentary options are limited because Senate Republicans rescinded rules allowing Supreme Court nominations to be filibustered during Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation fight last year. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "Both Parties Mobilize for Supreme Court Battle Over Kennedy’s Successor," 28 June 2018 This was a shot at Democrats whom both Trump and Senate Republicans have accused of filibustering Trump’s nominees and hogging limited time on the Senate floor. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "The nation’s weather and oceans agency has never gone this long without a confirmed leader," 25 Apr. 2018 Time and time again, the party in control of the Senate and White House saw their selections for powerful positions filibustered by their opponents in the minority. CBS News, "Nuclear option: Why Trump's Supreme Court pick needs only 51 votes," 9 July 2018 Eigel has been filibustering other legislation on the Senate floor, frustrated that his own bill hasn't passed. Allison Kite, kansascity, "With end of session in sight, Missouri lawmakers press forward on tax cuts | The Kansas City Star," 1 May 2018 In 2010, the bill died in the Senate after being filibustered by 41 senators, 36 of them Republican. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Trump 'cannot believe' how badly Democrats treated the DACA recipients whose lives he upended," 16 Feb. 2018 Republicans changed the Senate rules last year so that Supreme Court nominees cannot be filibustered, meaning only 51 votes will be required to confirm. Catherine Lucey And Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Barbed Senate words over timing of court confirmation," 28 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

Spanish filibustero, literally, freebooter

Verb

see filibuster entry 1

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Statistics for filibuster

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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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

: 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 \

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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