Definition of parliament in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpärləmənt/


1(In the UK) the highest legislature, consisting of the sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons: the Secretary of State will lay proposals before Parliament
More example sentences
  • If this does not occur, the next step is for the Parliament to have its second reading of the budget.
  • The annual budget only comes into force once the President of the Parliament has signed it.
  • The Parliament can request the Commission to draft legislation for debate in any area.
1.1The members of parliament for a particular period, especially between one dissolution and the next: the act was passed by the last parliament of the reign
More example sentences
  • I was delighted when we won the referendum and becoming a member of the parliament was the icing on the cake.
  • Members of a corrupt parliament are ready to make deals with whomsoever has anything to offer.
  • He has been a member of Parliament in five parliaments.
1.2A legislature similar to parliament in other nations and states: the Russian parliament
More example sentences
  • In practice the attention paid by national parliaments to EU market legislation is erratic and sporadic.
  • On internal matters, it allows for more democratic control by the national parliaments and the European Parliament.
  • Greater control by national parliaments and the European Parliament would represent a positive move.


Middle English: from Old French parlement 'speaking', from the verb parler.

  • A parliament is historically just a talking shop. It originates from French parler ‘to talk’, which goes back to Latin parabola ‘word’ ( see parable). Parlour (Middle English), originally a place for speaking, comes from the same root.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: par·lia·ment

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.