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.
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Recent Examples on the Web 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 Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, the Republican nominee, defeated Jones in the Nov. 3 election and is scheduled to assume office in the U.S. senate on Jan. 3, 2021. al, 9 Dec. 2020 Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville flipped a Democratic senate Senate in Alabama, defeating Doug Jones. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 4 Nov. 2020 However, the bill failed to pass in the senate in September last year. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, 31 Mar. 2020 Error 0: David Gaer, faculty senate president for the LSC University Park campus, presented the idea to the board. Jamie Swinnerton, Houston Chronicle, 14 Feb. 2020 The bill has survived in the state senate so far, in part with new language that addresses dealers’ fears by reiterating their exclusive rights to sell existing brands in specific geographic areas. Gabrielle Coppola,, 6 Feb. 2020 As the Second Amendment protests loomed in Virginia, one Democrat in the state senate scoffed that right-wing groups were getting their members — and their donors — riled up over silly legislative proposals that were unlikely ever to become law. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 23 Jan. 2020 The renewed violence was a response to the naming of an interim president, Jeanine Áñez, who until Mr Morales’s resignation was the highest-ranking opposition politician in congress as the senate’s second vice-president. The Economist, 14 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for senate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for senate

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Senate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for senate



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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