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filibuster

[fil-uh-buhs-ter] /ˈfɪl əˌbʌs tər/
noun
1.
U.S. Politics.
  1. 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.
  2. an exceptionally long speech, as one lasting for a day or days, or a series of such speeches to accomplish this purpose.
  3. 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
1580-1590
1580-90; < Spanish filibustero < Middle French flibustier, variant of fribustier; see freebooter
Related forms
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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British Dictionary definitions for filibusterer

filibuster

/ˈfɪlɪˌbʌstə/
noun
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
verb
4.
to obstruct (legislation) with delaying tactics
5.
(intransitive) to engage in unlawful and private military action
Derived Forms
filibusterer, noun
filibusterism, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish filibustero, from French flibustier probably from Dutch vrijbuiter pirate, literally: one plundering freely; see freebooter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for filibusterer
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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filibusterer in Culture
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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