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

An effort to overturn Indiana’s ban on light rail failed in the state’s senate in March. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Amazon second headquarters contest jumpstarts languishing transit, education projects," 29 June 2018 The victory in the 1st Senate district comes after Democrats flipped an equally Republican state senate in western Wisconsin in January. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin special elections: Five takeaways in races that saw Democrats win one and GOP win another," 13 June 2018 Over the past two months, the academic senates from at least half a dozen colleges, as well as the faculty union for the community college district in the Sacramento area, have passed votes of no confidence in system Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "A 'rebellion' mounts among community college professors as California pushes for change," 12 June 2018 Last week, Maine’s Democratic Party reported a $104,000 contribution from a national group that works to elect down-ballot Democrats, which hopes to flip Maine’s senate and seven other chambers this fall. Marina Villeneuve, The Seattle Times, "Liberals spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on ME races," 10 June 2018 In the mid-1980s, John Perry Barlow tried to follow his father into the Wyoming state senate, losing the election by one vote. Jesse Jarnow, WIRED, "The Ghost of John Perry Barlow Lives in His Posthumous Memoir," 5 June 2018 The Dems have to hold on to all of these seats to have any chance of taking the senate from the Republicans in November. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics How Dems in red states can fight off Trump's vicious attacks," 31 May 2018 The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were merged into the country's administrative mainstream, becoming part of the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by a parliamentary amendment approved by the senate on Friday. Sophia Saifi And Bard Wilkinson, CNN, "Pakistan dismantles troubled tribal regions," 25 May 2018 The same process is followed in drawing Michigan’s state senate and legislative districts. Detroit Free Press, "Like the classic 'Gerry-mander' cartoon, Free Press editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson imagines Michigan’s congressional districts as monsters," 15 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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Phrases Related to senate

the Senate

Statistics for senate

Last Updated

20 Sep 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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