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

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 commission was created by a bill passed unanimously by the state’s house and senate. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Maryland Launches an Investigation on Racial Terror Lynchings: raceAhead," 13 Sep. 2019 One of the champions of the bill in the senate was Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is now the state’s attorney general. John Eligon, New York Times, "Stopped, Ticketed, Fined: The Pitfalls of Driving While Black in Ferguson," 6 Aug. 2019 In the senate, Lugar was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and led a bipartisan effort to dismantle more than 7,600 nuclear warheads, millions of chemical munitions and thousands of missiles. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Richard Lugar could get Navy warship named in his honor," 14 May 2019 House Bill 1742 passed on March 4 and is now in committee in the state senate. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Washington State Lawmakers Are Advancing a Bill Decriminalizing Teen Sexting," 7 Mar. 2019 The party also scored an upset in an Indiana senate seat in District 29, which includes Carmel, when J.D. Ford beat Republican incumbent Mike Delph. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Hamilton County Democrats try but fail to put up any candidates for mayor seats," 8 May 2019 State Senator John Arthur Smith, also a Democrat who heads the state senate’s finance committee, worried the credit program sapped funds otherwise going to New Mexico’s public education, which has historically lagged behind other states. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "New Mexico’s Filmmaking-Incentive Program May Be Too Attractive," 30 Dec. 2018 Salazar, who served as Colorado’s senator between 2005 and 2009, notably chose to endorse Biden over his senate-seat successor and fellow moderate, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. NBC News, "Joe Biden gets another high-profile Latino endorsement," 17 Sep. 2019 Mr Tokayev also affirmed Mr Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga as head of the senate and thus next in line to the presidency. The Economist, "Politics this week," 5 Sep. 2019

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

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for senate

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

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How to pronounce senate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of 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 group of officials who led the ancient Roman government


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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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

Comments on senate

What made you want to look up senate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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