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[sen-it] /ˈsɛn ɪt/
an assembly or council of citizens having the highest deliberative functions in a government, especially a legislative assembly of a state or nation.
(initial capital letter) the upper house of the legislature of certain countries, as the United States, France, Italy, Canada, Ireland, Republic of South Africa, Australia, and some Latin American countries.
the room or building in which such a group meets.
Roman History. the supreme council of state, the membership and functions of which varied at different periods.
a governing, advisory, or disciplinary body, as in certain universities.
1175-1225; Middle English senat < Latin senātus council of elders, equivalent to sen(ex) old + -ātus -ate3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for senate
  • Goldwater decided to run, planning to make the term his last in the senate.
  • The minority of the parliament, and of the senate, were content.
  • The disagreement over the power act led to the social democrats leaving the senate.
  • In contrast, many republics have named a legislative chamber after the roman senate.
  • The senate is headed by the praetor, followed by the proconsul.
  • The power of borough governments is limited and subordinate to the senate of berlin.
  • Immediately afterwards, he threw himself out of the senate house, and he rushed home.
  • During regular sessions, the emperor sat amongst the senate body, speaking in turn.
  • The senate adjourned rather than approve the bill with the proviso.
British Dictionary definitions for senate


any legislative or governing body considered to resemble a Senate
the main governing body at some colleges and universities
Word Origin
C13: from Latin senātus council of the elders, from senex an old man


noun (sometimes not capital)
the upper chamber of the legislatures of the US, Canada, Australia, and many other countries
the legislative council of ancient Rome. Originally the council of the kings, the Senate became the highest legislative, judicial, and religious authority in republican Rome
the ruling body of certain free cities in medieval and modern Europe
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 senate

c.1200, "legal and administrative body of ancient Rome," from Old French senat or Latin senatus "highest council of the state in ancient Rome," literally "council of elders," from senex (genitive senis) "old man, old" (see senile). Attested from late 14c. in reference to governing bodies of free cities in Europe; of national governing bodies from 1550s; specific sense of upper house of U.S. legislature is recorded from 1775.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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senate in the Bible

(Acts 5:21), the "elders of Israel" who formed a component part of the Sanhedrin.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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