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senate Syllabification: sen·ate
Pronunciation: /ˈsenət/

Definition of senate in English:


1Any of various legislative or governing bodies, in particular.
1.1The smaller upper assembly in the US Congress, most US states, France, and other countries.
Example sentences
  • The bicameral parliament is comprised of a senate and national assembly.
  • We also have a new parliament, a national assembly and a senate appointed by the different factions.
  • Governors, often elected by the legislatures for one-year terms, were denied the veto, and senates (the new upper houses) were not allowed to amend money bills.
1.2The state council of the ancient Roman republic and empire, which shared legislative power with the popular assemblies, administration with the magistrates, and judicial power with the knights.
Example sentences
  • The senate, led by Cicero, supported Octavian, who defeated Antony in 43 and took the consulship by force.
  • On the Ides of March, two days before he was due to leave Rome on his great eastern expedition, he was stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate in Pompey's new theater.
  • However, the Roman senate did not share their emperor's enthusiasm for the new faith.
1.3The governing body of a university or college.
Example sentences
  • The faculty senate at Virginia State University was abolished in 2001.
  • Six days after his arrest, and following consultation with members of his department and of the faculty senate, the university president acted to dismiss him.
  • Resolutions from the university senate and several protests, including a hunger strike by seventeen students, have sought to focus public attention on the disparity in benefits.


Middle English: from Old French senat, from Latin senatus, from senex 'old man'.

  • Senate and senator are from Latin senatus, from senex ‘old man’. Use in modern times was taken from the Roman Senate, and elected body which was originally believed to have been a council of the elders of the tribes, chosen for their wisdom. See also sir

Words that rhyme with senate

Bennett, genet, jennet, rennet, sennet, sennit, tenet

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Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
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