unicameral

adjective
uni·cam·er·al | \ ˌyü-ni-ˈkam-rəl , -ˈka-mə- \

Definition of unicameral 

: having or consisting of a single legislative chamber

Keep scrolling for more

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

Nebraska, unique among U.S. states, is unicameral and officially nonpartisan. Washington Post, "Democrats strive to tighten their hold in several states," 29 Apr. 2018 Yet Fujimori’s party, Fuerza Popular, captured 56 percent of the seats in Peru’s unicameral Congress, and Kuczynski’s party held only 11 percent. Javier Corrales, Washington Post, "The threat of impeachment can push presidents out the door. But there’s a catch.," 11 Apr. 2018 His centre-right Peruvians for Change party holds only 18 of the unicameral congress’s 130 seats. The Economist, "Latin America’s biggest scandal threatens to snare Peru’s president, too," 19 Dec. 2017 The unicameral Congress will hold an initial vote whether to accept the motion at 4 p.m. in Lima and may make a final decision Dec. 21, Speaker Luis Galarreta told reporters. John Quigley, Bloomberg.com, "Peru Opposition Moves to Force Out President Over Payments," 15 Dec. 2017 Nebraska also has the only unicameral Legislature in the nation and there are no party caucuses, although affiliations are known. Washington Post, "Nebraska sets highest bar in US for independent candidates," 14 Sep. 2017 Residents brag about their unique unicameral Legislature, where lawmakers do not caucus by party, and frequently don scarlet Nebraska T-shirts celebrating the state’s flagship university and its football team, the Cornhuskers. Mitch Smith, New York Times, "Nebraska’s Flag Lacks Pizazz. The Hard Part Is Changing It.," 10 Aug. 2017 Looming above this was the ever-present shadow of something called the Major Oil Pipeline Siting Act (MOPSA), which was passed through Nebraska's unique unicameral state legislature in 2011. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "There Are Two Unsung Heroes in the Keystone Pipeline Fight," 9 Aug. 2017 Five parties made it into the National Assembly, but none of them won the minimum 121 out of 240 seats to claim a majority in the unicameral legislature. Nina Barzachka, Washington Post, "Bulgaria’s government will include far-right nationalist parties for the first time," 25 Apr. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unicameral

Share unicameral

Dictionary Entries near unicameral

unibivalent

unibrow

unica

unicameral

unicameralism

Unicapsula

uniced

Statistics for unicameral

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unicameral

The first known use of unicameral was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unicameral

unicameral

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unicameral

: having only one part

Comments on unicameral

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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