Definition of lobby in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlɒbi/

noun (plural lobbies)

1A room providing a space out of which one or more other rooms or corridors lead, typically one near the entrance of a public building: they went into the hotel lobby
More example sentences
  • Clad in bright green glass tiles, the entrance lobby leads to a restful white panelled ante room.
  • A glazed tunnel set slightly off axis leads down through the treelined courtyard into the entrance lobby, one level below ground.
  • The third strategy (mixed mode) combines natural and artificial ventilation in transition spaces such as lobbies, foyers and the courtyard.
entrance hall, hallway, hall, entrance, vestibule, foyer, reception area, outer room, waiting room, anteroom, antechamber, porch;
corridor, passage, passageway
2(In the UK) any of several large halls in the Houses of Parliament in which MPs may meet members of the public.
Example sentences
  • The meeting also decided to ban smoking in the Central Hall and lobbies of Parliament in the light of a Supreme Court order against smoking at all public places in the country.
  • In the years I knew him in the lobbies of the parliament, he was not only one of the most agreeable and charming MPs I had to deal with but one of the few people who really seemed to know what was going on.
  • Just before the dinner break when we took the vote on the Relationships Bill, inadvertently a vote was cast for one member on our side of the House in both lobbies.
2.1 (also division lobby) (In the UK) each of two corridors in the Houses of Parliament to which MPs retire to vote.
Example sentences
  • They were at their brutish best - standing on every possible route into the division lobby as MPs voted on controversial foundation hospitals.
  • The last time a Government substantially cut the top income tax rate and the company tax rate was when that member and I passed in the division lobby to vote for them in 1988.
  • Since 1997, Labour backbenchers have docilely suffered themselves to be herded through the division lobby with about as much consideration for their feelings as crated veal calves.
2.2 (the lobby) informal (In the UK) lobby correspondents collectively.
3A group of people seeking to influence legislators on a particular issue: members of the anti-abortion lobby
More example sentences
  • It would be easy to imagine that the reason why the question of pain and late abortion have become connected is because the anti-abortion lobby have exploited the issue.
  • This makes it a perfect issue for the anti-abortion lobby to take up.
  • He also boasted of being sought by numerous other lobbies, including the Hollywood trade group MPAA and several telecommunications firms.
pressure group, interest group, interest, movement, campaign, crusade, lobbyists, supporters;
faction, camp, bloc, clique;
British  ginger group
3.1 [in singular] An organized attempt by members of the public to influence legislators: a recent lobby of Parliament by pensioners
More example sentences
  • The union plans to organise a lobby of the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth this September over manufacturing job losses.
  • Last week we organised a lobby of the Lib Dem council to save our school.
  • Our next step was to organise a lobby of the next meeting of the Housing Committee.

verb (lobbies, lobbying, lobbied)

[with object]
Seek to influence (a legislator) on an issue: they insist on their right to lobby Congress [no object]: the organization was formed to lobby for student concerns
More example sentences
  • Protesters lobbied councillors as they went into their meeting.
  • Private firms spend millions lobbying politicians to promote their interests.
  • They also lobbied councillors and told them the increase in traffic would created a safety risk.
seek to influence, try to persuade, bring pressure to bear on, importune, persuade, influence, sway;
petition, solicit, appeal to, call on, urge, press, pressure, pressurize, push
campaign, crusade, press, push, drum up support, speak, clamour, ask, call, drive;
promote, advocate, recommend, speak/plead/argue in favour of, champion, urge, insist on, demand


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'monastic cloister'): from medieval Latin lobia, lobium 'covered walk, portico'. The verb sense (originally US) derives from the practice of frequenting the lobby of a house of legislature to influence its members into supporting a cause.

  • Both lobby and lodge (Middle English) go back to medieval Latin lobia ‘covered walk, portico’. The earliest uses of the word refer to monastic cloisters, but after Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries it moved into the world of the rich subjects who turned them into houses. A lobby became an antechamber or entrance hall, and is now often the foyer ( see focus) of a hotel. The British Houses of Parliament, and other parliaments, have a central lobby where MPs can meet constituents and members of pressure groups, and two division lobbies where MPs assemble to vote. To lobby meaning ‘to try to influence a legislator’ originated from this arrangement in the USA. Logistics (late 19th century), originally the supplying of troops, developed in French from lodge.

Words that rhyme with lobby

Bobbie, bobby, Gobbi, hobby, knobby, snobby, swabbie

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lobby

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