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[lob-ee] /ˈlɒb i/
noun, plural lobbies.
an entrance hall, corridor, or vestibule, as in a public building, often serving as an anteroom; foyer.
a large public room or hall adjacent to a legislative chamber.
a group of persons who work or conduct a campaign to influence members of a legislature to vote according to the group's special interest.
verb (used without object), lobbied, lobbying.
to solicit or try to influence the votes of members of a legislative body.
verb (used with object), lobbied, lobbying.
to try to influence the actions of (public officials, especially legislators).
to urge or procure the passage of (a bill), by lobbying.
Origin of lobby
1545-55; < Medieval Latin lobia, laubia covered way < Old High German *laubia (later lauba) arbor, derivative of laub leaf
Related forms
lobbyer, noun
unlobbied, adjective
unlobbying, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lobby
  • For example, the rolling entrance area works as a bathroom, a drying space for clothing and a lobby.
  • Yucca keeps getting put back up for consideration because it has the weakest political lobby relative to the more secure places.
  • If a large lobby group pays you a lot of money to push a political agenda over here, you tend to get thrown in jail.
  • But the real boost that the drug lobby is giving to the health-reform effort is a political one.
  • The problem is that the gun lobby makes its money and exercises its influence by keeping the debate hot and emotional.
  • Fifteen protesters were arrested after forcing their way into the building and refusing orders to exit the lobby.
  • But at other times, it seems remarkable that companies would do anything but lobby.
  • Famous lobby lounge with capsule seats, and bar and river views, is a popular party destination for the in-crowd.
  • The beautiful lobby is also available for pre-show and post-show receptions, as well as meetings and special events.
  • Don't look for a sign, or for that matter a lobby or a bellhop angling for a tip.
British Dictionary definitions for lobby


noun (pl) -bies
a room or corridor used as an entrance hall, vestibule, etc
(mainly Brit) a hall in a legislative building used for meetings between the legislators and members of the public
(mainly Brit) Also called division lobby. one of two corridors in a legislative building in which members vote
a group of persons who attempt to influence legislators on behalf of a particular interest
verb -bies, -bying, -bied
to attempt to influence (legislators, etc) in the formulation of policy
(intransitive) to act in the manner of a lobbyist
(transitive) to apply pressure or influence for the passage of (a bill, etc)
Derived Forms
lobbyer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin lobia portico, from Old High German lauba arbor, from laub leaf
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 lobby

1530s, "cloister, covered walk," from Medieval Latin laubia, lobia "covered walk in a monastery," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German louba "hall, roof;" see lodge (n.)). Meaning "large entrance hall in a public building" is from 1590s. Political sense of "those who seek to influence legislation" is attested by 1790s in American English, in reference to the custom of influence-seekers gathering in large entrance-halls outside legislative chambers.


"seek to influence legislation," 1826, American English, from lobby (n.). Related: Lobbied; lobbying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lobby in Culture

lobby definition

A group whose members share certain goals and work to bring about the passage, modification, or defeat of laws that affect these goals. Lobbies (also called interest groups or pressure groups) can be long-standing (such as minority groups struggling to have their civil rights guaranteed) or ad hoc (such as a community threatened by proposed construction of a nuclear power plant). Lobbies may use grassroots methods, such as local rallies and campaigns, to build support for their cause and often employ professional lobbyists, who testify before congressional committees and approach policymakers in all government branches. Powerful lobbies, such as the AFL-CIO and the American Legion, with millions of members, have succeeded in establishing influence in Washington, D.C.

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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