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

Congress could only approve with an up-or-down vote within 90 days – no amendments or filibusters allowed. William Hauk, The Conversation, "How Congress lost power over trade deals – and why some lawmakers want it back," 9 July 2019 The Senate has just confirmed her nominee for attorney general in a mostly party-line vote, after two moderate Republican senators voted to end a filibuster. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Ex-President Trump on Trial," 18 June 2019 The left has called on candidates to support the abolition of the filibuster, in order to minimize the power of the opposition in the Senate. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "Mitch McConnell Looms Larger Than Donald Trump at the First Debate," 27 June 2019 The original version of this story mischaracterized Senator Paul's reasoning for his filibuster. The Christian Science Monitor, "Corrections," 4 Mar. 2019 Would Senate Democrats kill the legislative filibuster or not? John Mccormack, National Review, "Is the Hyde Amendment Safe After All?," 13 June 2019 Now Elizabeth Warren says that Democrats will also eliminate the legislative filibuster to make the Senate more like the House. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Busting the Legislative Filibuster," 7 Apr. 2019 And if the voters accept their promises, the Democrats have to be relentless in tactics to achieve as many of their promises as possible, including using the nuclear option to end the filibuster in the Senate and packing the courts. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "How Democrats Can Over-Promise Like Trump," 11 May 2018 Democrats had invented the judicial filibuster in the early 2000s then did away with it in 2013. Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg.com, "McConnell Cements a Legacy for Trump With Reshaped Courts," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So as long as Mitch McConnell is willing to filibuster everything, no legislation, including climate legislation, can pass. David Roberts, Vox, "We might get a climate debate after all. Here are 10 questions to ask candidates.," 3 July 2019 Republicans filibustered a Democratic spending bill that year and used the disappearing quorum to frustrate the majority’s efforts. Kyle Sammin, National Review, "Oregon Democrats Outsource Their Duty to Drag Republicans Back to the Legislature," 28 June 2019 Of course, a Republican Senate might filibuster, adding another hurdle. Robinson Woodward-burns, Washington Post, "The Equal Rights Amendment is one state from ratification. Now what?," 20 June 2018 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

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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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

Comments on filibuster

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