uni·​cam·​er·​al | \ ˌyü-ni-ˈkam-rəl, -ˈka-mə- How to pronounce unicameral (audio) \

Definition of unicameral

: having or consisting of a single legislative chamber

Other Words from unicameral

unicamerally adverb

Did you know?

Unicameral means "one-chambered", and the term almost always describes a governing body. Our federal legislature, like those of most democracies, is bicameral, with two legislative (lawmaking) bodies—the Senate and the House of Representatives. And except for Nebraska, all the state legislatures are also bicameral. So why did the nation decide on a bicameral system? Partly in order to keep some power out of the hands of ordinary voters, who the Founding Fathers didn't completely trust. For that reason, the original Constitution states that senators are to be elected by the state legislatures; not until 1914, after passage of a Constitutional amendment, did we first cast direct votes for our senators.

Examples of unicameral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Peru’s unicameral congress has twice tried to remove him from office. Franklin Briceno, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Apr. 2022 In 2010, with nearly 53 percent of the popular vote, Fidesz ended up with over two-thirds of parliamentary seats in the unicameral Parliament. Zsuzsanna Szelényi, The New Republic, 5 Apr. 2022 Peru’s unicameral Congress is deeply fragmented among 10 political parties and rarely can come to any consensus on passing legislation. Franklin Briceño And Regina Garcia Cano, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Mar. 2022 The president will defend himself before the unicameral congress on Monday, or send his lawyer to do so. Matthew Bristow, Bloomberg.com, 28 Mar. 2022 Marsh specifically dealt with the practice of the Nebraska legislature to pay a chaplain to deliver legislative invocations ahead of its unicameral meetings. David Aaro, Fox News, 17 Feb. 2022 All 57 seats in the country's unicameral National Assembly are also up for election. Grayson Quay, The Week, 6 Feb. 2022 Ultimately, either 75 or 76 state legislative chambers are needed for ratification (75 if one of the states is Nebraska, which has a unicameral legislature). Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 29 July 2021 Whichever candidate wins will have to work with a fragmented unicameral congress, which has contributed to political instability in the last five years. Claudia Rebaza, CNN, 5 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unicameral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unicameral

1853, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for unicameral

uni- + Late Latin camera room, chamber — more at chamber

Learn More About unicameral

Time Traveler for unicameral

Time Traveler

The first known use of unicameral was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near unicameral




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for unicameral

Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unicameral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unicameral. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!