filibuster

[fil-uh-buhs-ter]
noun
1.
U.S. politics.
a.
the use of irregular or obstructive tactics by a member of a legislative assembly to prevent the adoption of a measure generally favored or to force a decision against the will of the majority.
b.
an exceptionally long speech, as one lasting for a day or days, or a series of such speeches to accomplish this purpose.
c.
a member of a legislature who makes such a speech.
2.
an irregular military adventurer, especially one who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to foment or support a revolution.
verb (used without object)
3.
U.S. Politics. to impede legislation by irregular or obstructive tactics, especially by making long speeches.
4.
to act as an irregular military adventurer, especially for revolutionary purposes.
verb (used with object)
5.
U.S. Politics. to impede (legislation) by irregular or obstructive tactics, especially by making long speeches.

Origin:
1580–90; < Spanish filibustero < Middle French flibustier, variant of fribustier; see freebooter

filibusterer, noun
filibusterism, noun
filibusterous, adjective
antifilibuster, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
filibuster (ˈfɪlɪˌbʌstə)
 
n
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
 
vb
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 freebooter]
 
'filibusterer
 
n
 
'filibusterism
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

filibuster
1580s, flibutor "pirate," probably ultimately from Du. vrijbuiter "freebooter," used of pirates in the West Indies as Sp. filibustero and Fr. flibustier, either or both of which gave the word to Amer.Eng. (see freebooter). Used 1850s and '60s of lawless adventurers from
the U.S. who tried to overthrow Central American countries. The legislative sense is first recorded c.1851, probably because obstructionist legislators "pirated" debate. Not technically restricted to U.S. Senate, but that's where the strategy works best. Related: Filibustered; filibustering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
filibuster [(fil-uh-bus-tuhr)]

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.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
In he rushed, despatched a messenger for me, and began a single-handed
  filibuster.
The bill did not win enough votes to break a filibuster.
Filibuster- and hold-happy legislators can prevent qualified appointees from
  taking their positions for months.
If filibuster reform is to be serious, such myths must be shattered, which
  won't be easy.
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