Definition of lobby in English:


Line breaks: lobby
Pronunciation: /ˈlɒbi

noun (plural lobbies)

  • 2(In the UK) any of several large halls in the Houses of Parliament in which MPs may meet members of the public.
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    • 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.
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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] Back to top  
  • 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
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    • 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, pushcampaign, 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



More example sentences
  • I love the fact that politicians, power brokers, presidents, campaigners and lobbyists now have to wait.
  • But there was little memory of that when Gaelic lobbyists looked for support in 2000.
  • Until 1994, a lobbyist needed the support of an MEP in order to obtain a pass giving access to the Parliament's premises.


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.

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