filibuster

1 of 2

noun

fil·​i·​bus·​ter ˈfi-lə-ˌbə-stər How to pronounce filibuster (audio)
1
: an irregular military adventurer
specifically : an American engaged in fomenting insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century
2
[filibuster entry 2]
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

2 of 2

verb

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

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
filibusterer noun

Example Sentences

Noun They engaged in a filibuster that lasted for over a week.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The first procedural vote should be expected on Wednesday, Schumer said, and will need at least 10 GOP Senate votes to overcome a filibuster and advance toward final passage. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 15 Nov. 2022 One-party Democratic control of the federal government -- unchecked by the Senate filibuster and West Virginia senator Joe Manchin -- is now an unlikely but plausible outcome of the November elections. John Mccormack, National Review, 15 Sep. 2022 Unless all Democrats, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, agree to eliminate the filibuster — or more Republicans vote to support the bills — no new federal gun legislation will head to President Biden’s desk. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 25 May 2022 Senator Joe Manchin, whose heterodox positions on the filibuster and the Build Back Better Act have put him at odds with the vast majority of his caucus, worried about putting the burden on the taxpayer for unionizing congressional staff. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 9 Feb. 2022 Federally, the peril for upholding the filibuster and a conservative majority in the Supreme Court are one in the same: stifling voices. Malika Redmond, Essence, 22 Jan. 2022 Hannah Hurley, a Sinema spokesperson, responded by noting Sinema's longstanding position on the filibuster and desire to work outside of partisan politics. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, The Arizona Republic, 22 Jan. 2022 McConnell, who led his party in doing away with the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees during Donald Trump’s presidency, warned off changing the rules again. Lisa Mascaro, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Jan. 2022 State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson have also backed ending the filibuster and other reforms. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 Jan. 2022
Verb
One thing to note: If this was really about Democrats taking the responsibility for the vote, as McConnell has laid out, then there's zero reason for Republicans to filibuster a suspension or increase. Phil Mattingly, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Democratic efforts to pass a sweeping voting rights bill appear doomed after the Senate failed to pass a change to filibuster rules that would have dropped the 60-vote threshold needed to end debate on the bill. Nicholas Reimann, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 Manchin has expressed support to do away with one of the opportunities to filibuster a bill, but not all of them. Jennifer Haberkorn Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2022 Without a change to filibuster rules, Republicans could block 2 voting rights bills in the Senate. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 11 Jan. 2022 Joe Biden — threatened to filibuster her nomination. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Republicans might then be expected to try to filibuster the nomination, or thwart its passage by demanding never-ending debate. Madison Alder, Bloomberg.com, 25 Feb. 2022 In recent decades, a senator merely signaling his or her intent to filibuster a piece of legislation has been enough to stop action on a bill. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 11 Jan. 2022 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced in a letter to his colleagues this week that the chamber would vote by Jan. 17 on whether to change the Senate rules if Republicans filibuster voting rights legislation in the coming days. Max Ufberg, Fortune, 5 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Spanish filibustero, literally, freebooter

First Known Use

Noun

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1851, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of filibuster was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near filibuster

Cite this Entry

“Filibuster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/filibuster. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

filibuster

1 of 2 noun
fil·​i·​bus·​ter ˈfil-ə-ˌbəs-tər How to pronounce filibuster (audio)
: the use of delaying tactics (as long speeches) to put off or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly
also : an instance of this practice

filibuster

2 of 2 verb
filibustered; filibustering
-t(ə-)riŋ
: to engage in a filibuster
filibusterer noun

Legal Definition

filibuster

1 of 2 noun
fil·​i·​bus·​ter ˈfi-lə-ˌbəs-tər How to pronounce filibuster (audio)
: 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

2 of 2 verb
filibustered; filibustering

intransitive verb

: to engage in a filibuster

transitive verb

: to subject to a filibuster
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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