sen·​ate | \ ˈse-nət How to pronounce senate (audio) \
plural senates

Definition of senate

1 : an assembly or council usually possessing high deliberative and legislative functions: such as
a : the second chamber in the bicameral legislature of a major political unit (such as a nation, state, or province) often used in capitalized form as the shortened name of a specific senate The bill passed in both the House and the Senate.Senate RepublicansThis article contends that most issues related to Senate reform in Canada have been addressed in Australia.— Howard Cody
b : the supreme council of the ancient Roman republic and empire
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.
Recent Examples on the Web The measure passed the Florida senate earlier this week and is expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who supports the bill. CBS News, 22 Mar. 2022 The academic senate of Cal State East Bay passed a resolution calling for caste protections, and other campuses followed. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 30 Jan. 2022 This all feels like a philosopher king increasing his grip on the U.S. senate. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 12 Jan. 2022 Others, like John and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple that rose to fame after pointing guns at racial justice protesters outside their home last year, capitalized on the trial’s media blitz to fundraise for a U.S. senate run in Missouri. Madison Muller, Rolling Stone, 19 Nov. 2021 At the same time, the French senate had just voted to prohibit women under 18 from wearing hijabs in public, and President Macron’s LREM political party had pulled support from candidate Sarah Zemmahi for wearing a hijab in a campaign ad. Jonathan Cohn, Wired, 3 Nov. 2021 Richard, a former French defense minister, previously visited Taiwan in 2015 and 2018, according to Taiwan's semi-official Central News Agency, and heads the Taiwan Friendship group in the French senate., 6 Oct. 2021 Then, of course, there was Pacquiao, who parlayed his fame as a champion in eight separate weight categories into a seat in the Philippines senate. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 The same California senate bill that required police and sheriff’s departments to implement mandatory duty-to-intervene and duty-to-report policies also required agencies to implement de-escalation policies. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 May 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

28 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Senate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for senate


sen·​ate | \ ˈse-nət How to pronounce senate (audio) \

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 How to pronounce senate (audio) \

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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