[ bahy-pahr-tuh-zuhn ]
/ baɪˈpɑr tə zən /
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representing, characterized by, or including members from two parties or factions: Government leaders hope to achieve a bipartisan foreign policy.
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Origin of bipartisan

First recorded in 1905–10; bi-1 + partisan1


bi·par·ti·san·ism, nounbi·par·ti·san·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does bipartisan mean?

Bipartisan means including two parties or factions, especially ones that typically oppose each other.

Bipartisan is used in the context of political systems that have two dominant parties. Bipartisan is most often used to describe actions or solutions intended to counteract partisan politics, which refers to a situation in which members of each party vote along party lines and refuse to compromise.

Example: Approving the budget before the deadline will take a bipartisan effort.

Where does bipartisan come from?

The first records of bipartisan in English come from the early 1900s. Bipartisan is composed of the prefix bi-, meaning two, and partisan, which is “a supporter of a group or party, especially one who shows a biased allegiance.” Partisan is based on the same root as the word party.

When a government is dominated by two political parties, the two parties usually have deep ideological differences. This is certainly the case in the United States, where the Democratic party and the Republican party disagree on all kinds of things. When the two parties can’t compromise because they only stick to their own side, this is often called partisanship or partisan politics, which can lead to gridlock. But sometimes politicians work with members of the other party to get things done that they agree on. Doing so is called being bipartisan. (In the U.S., this is sometimes called “crossing the aisle,” referring to the aisle in the U.S. Senate that separates the two seating areas where members of each party sit.)

Bipartisan is used in many phrases related to members of both parties working together, such as bipartisan coalition, bipartisan solution, and bipartisan efforts. It can also be used to describe legislation put forward collaboratively by members of both parties, as in bipartisan legislation and bipartisan bill.

Bipartisan does not mean the same thing as nonpartisan. Nonpartisan means “not supporting or controlled by a political party.” Some organizations, like think tanks and charities, label themselves as nonpartisan, typically as a way to indicate that they are not tied to the agenda of any particular party.

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What are some other forms related to bipartisan?

  • bipartisanship (noun)
  • bipartisanism (noun)

What are some synonyms for bipartisan?

  • two-party

What are some words that share a root or word element with bipartisan

What are some words that often get used in discussing bipartisan?

How is bipartisan used in real life?

Bipartisan is most often used in the context of politics. In the U.S., it refers to members of the Democratic and Replublican parties working together.



Try using bipartisan!

Is bipartisan used correctly in the following sentence?

A bipartisan agreement couldn’t be reached by the two factions, so they voted to reconvene at a later date.

How to use bipartisan in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bipartisan

/ (ˌbaɪpɑːtɪˈzæn, baɪˈpɑːtɪˌzæn) /

consisting of or supported by two political parties

Derived forms of bipartisan

bipartisanship, noun
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