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committee of the whole

the entire membership of a legislative body, sitting in a deliberative rather than a legislative capacity, for informal debate and preliminary consideration of matters awaiting legislative action.
Origin of committee of the whole
1745-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for committee-of-the-whole
Historical Examples
  • Their decisions were made in committee-of-the-whole, and nothing was done that could not meet with the willing consent of all.

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