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 This also includes candidates in two high-profile senate races, Montana Governor Steve Bullock and Reverend Raphael Warnock in Georgia. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Trump travels to battleground Michigan amid pandemic," 20 May 2020 In 1990, a senate race in North Carolina presented a quandary for the NBA star. Don Riddell, CNN, "The billion-dollar move that Michael Jordan almost missed," 4 May 2020 Update: On Tuesday evening, Erica Smith lost the North Carolina Democratic senate race to Cal Cunningham. Elly Belle,, "Erica Smith Loses North Carolina Senate Primary To Establishment Democrat Cal Cunningham," 3 Mar. 2020 WLNS Newsroom ✔ @WLNS During a senate vote at the capitol it was brought to our attention that one State Senator was wearing a mask that appeared to have the confederate flag on it. NBC News, "Michigan lawmaker apologizes for wearing face mask that looks like Confederate flag," 25 Apr. 2020 The cynical operator works for rival senate candidate, Llewellyn Slocombe, who appears in a TV ad, riding a horse, wearing a cowboy hat and talking in folksy style about building businesses and creating jobs for Oregonians. oregonlive, "‘Stumptown'; What the TV series gets wrong (and right) about Portland," 26 Nov. 2019 While civic society in Nigeria is stepping up the fight to free Sowore and all those in government detention, Nigerian lawmakers are advancing a bill in the senate that would impose death sentence for hate speech. Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, Quartz Africa, "A New York-based journalist has become the face of shrinking press freedom in Nigeria," 16 Nov. 2019 At the state level, there are about a half-dozen contested primary races for state representative seats that include various parts of Marion County and two contested state senate seats. Amelia Pak-harvey, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis will pay up to $1.1 million to send voters absentee ballots, applications," 14 Apr. 2020 More must-read stories from Fortune: —145 CEOs call on Senate to support ‘common-sense gun laws’ —These are the 2020 senate races to watch —Black women voters are key to the 2020 presidential race. Melanie Eversley, Fortune, "NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Drops Out of White House Race," 20 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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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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Senate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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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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