sen·​ate | \ˈse-nət \

Definition of senate 

1 : an assembly or council usually possessing high deliberative and legislative functions: such as

a : the supreme council of the ancient Roman republic and empire

b : the second chamber in the bicameral legislature of a major political unit (such as a nation, state, or province)

2 : the hall or chamber in which a senate meets

3 : a governing body of some universities charged with maintaining academic standards and regulations and usually composed of the principal or representative members of the faculty

Examples of senate in a Sentence

the New York State Senate The Senate approved the bill. The Senate voted to repeal the tax cut.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The army will continue to hold much of the real power in the country, however, by appointing a senate and retaining the right grab back political control. James Hookway, WSJ, "Thailand Probes Boat Sinking, With Billions of Chinese Tourist Dollars at Stake," 21 Nov. 2018 Democrats swept all of the statewide offices there, but did not make any gains in the assembly or the state senate, which remain overwhelmingly Republican. Sean Illing, Vox, "What the 2018 midterms mean for the Democrats’ gerrymandering dilemma," 7 Nov. 2018 Many in Carbondale have rebuked him and the faculty senate overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence this week. Dawn Rhodes,, "Southern Illinois University president ousted amid swirling controversy," 13 July 2018 In another damning rebuke, the state senate voted, again 59-0, to ban Blagojevich from ever holding office again in Illinois. Manu Raju And Ashley Killough, CNN, "Illinois GOP warns Trump: 'Stupid' to free Blagojevich," 8 June 2018 Tuesday’s elections include key senate races in Nevada and North Dakota. Jen Kirby, Vox, "What time the polls close in the June 12 primary states," 12 June 2018 In West Baltimore’s 40th District senate race, incumbent Sen. Barbara Robinson and challenger Del. Antonio Hayes are locked in a close fundraising battle. Luke Broadwater,, "In several competitive Baltimore state senate races, challengers lead incumbents in fundraising," 25 May 2018 The Jackson nomination fight has spilled into one of the battlegrounds in the midterm elections: the Montana senate race. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Trump Considering Kelly as Possible Candidate to Lead VA," 30 Apr. 2018 Those states have produced four female gubernatorial nominees and one senate race in Nebraska, where two women will face off in November. NBC News, "In 2018, Women candidates are on track to make history," 27 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for senate

Middle English senat, from Anglo-French, from Latin senatus, from sen-, senex old, old man — more at senior

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Statistics for senate

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for senate

The first known use of senate was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of senate

the Senate : the smaller group of the two groups of people who meet to discuss and make the laws of a country, state, etc.; especially : the smaller group of the two groups that form the U.S. Congress

: a group of people who govern some colleges and universities

the Senate : the group of officials who led the ancient Roman government


sen·​ate | \ˈse-nət \

Kids Definition of senate

1 capitalized : the upper house of a legislature (as the United States Congress)

2 : a governing body


sen·​ate | \ˈse-nət \

Legal Definition of senate 

: the upper chamber in a bicameral legislature especially, capitalized : the upper house of the U.S. Congress or a state legislature

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More from Merriam-Webster on senate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with senate

Spanish Central: Translation of senate

Nglish: Translation of senate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of senate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about senate

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to enclose within walls

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