|a screen or mat covered with a dark material for shielding a camera lens from excess light or glare.|
|a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question.|
|1.||an assembly of the representatives of a political nation or people, often the supreme legislative authority|
|2.||any legislative or deliberative assembly, conference, etc|
|3.||Also: parlement (in France before the Revolution) any of several high courts of justice in which royal decrees were registered|
|[C13: from Anglo-Latin parliamentum, from Old French parlement, from parler to speak; see |
|1.||the highest legislative authority in Britain, consisting of the House of Commons, which exercises effective power, the House of Lords, and the sovereign|
|2.||a similar legislature in another country|
|3.||the two chambers of a Parliament|
|4.||the lower chamber of a Parliament|
|5.||any of the assemblies of such a body created by a general election and royal summons and dissolved before the next election|
An assembly of representatives, usually of an entire nation, that makes laws. Parliaments began in the Middle Ages in struggles for power between kings and their people. Today, parliaments differ from other kinds of legislatures in one important way: some of the representatives in the parliament serve as government ministers, in charge of carrying out the laws that the parliament passes. Generally, a parliament is divided by political parties, and the representative who leads the strongest political party in the parliament becomes the nation's head of government. This leader is usually called the prime minister or premier. Typically, a different person — usually a king, queen, or president — is head of state, and this person's duties are usually more ceremonial than governmental.
Note: The number of nations governed by parliaments has greatly increased in modern times.