|1.||the process or an instance of obstructing legislation by means of long speeches and other delaying tactics|
|2.||Also called: filibusterer a legislator who engages in such obstruction|
|3.||a buccaneer, freebooter, or irregular military adventurer, esp a revolutionary in a foreign country|
|4.||to obstruct (legislation) with delaying tactics|
|5.||(intr) to engage in unlawful and private military action|
|[C16: from Spanish filibustero, from French flibustier probably from Dutch vrijbuiter pirate, literally: one plundering freely; see |
A strategy employed in the United States Senate, whereby a minority can delay a vote on proposed legislation by making long speeches or introducing irrelevant issues. A successful filibuster can force withdrawal of a bill. Filibusters can be ended only by cloture.
originally, in U.S. history, the attempt to take over countries at peace with the United States via privately financed military expeditions, a practice that reached its peak during the 1850s. In U.S. legislative usage, the term refers to obstructive delaying tactics (see filibuster).
Learn more about filibustering with a free trial on Britannica.com.