- 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.
- an exceptionally long speech, as one lasting for a day or days, or a series of such speeches to accomplish this purpose.
- a member of a legislature who makes such a speech.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- filial piety,
- filiform bougie,
- filiform papilla,
Origin of filibuster
Examples from the Web for filibuster
When the former engaged in his drone filibuster, Cruz showed up in support; ditto for Paul when Cruz held an Obamacare filibuster.
The Democrats did not by themselves have the votes to defeat a Southern filibuster in the Senate.Lyndon Johnson’s Last Miracle: The Civil Rights Act Turns 50|Nicolaus Mills|July 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Paul has altered the national conversation once before, with his filibuster on drones.Rand Paul’s Comments on GOP Voter-ID Laws Mark a Turning Point|James Poulos|May 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Senate Democrats failed in their effort to end a filibuster on a bill that would raise minimum wage to $10.10 on Wednesday.
Two big matters in particular: the filibuster, and presidential nominations.Here’s What Happens When the GOP Takes Over the Senate|Michael Tomasky|April 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The poor man no longer left the house, for fear of saluting a filibuster.An Eagle Flight|Jos Rizal
And are there still gobemouches in England who believe in the Filibuster?Tony Butler|Charles James Lever
He had always kept out of such musses, and he knew it was violating Federal law to be a filibuster.The Mermaid of Druid Lake and Other Stories|Charles Weathers Bump
He wants his picture painted by the celebrated young American painter and filibuster now sojourning in his down-trodden country.Cabbages and Kings|O. Henry
Even the word "filibuster," transformed to a verb, is degraded to the base uses of politics.By-Ways of War|James Jeffrey Roche
Word Origin for filibuster
1580s, flibutor "pirate," probably ultimately from Dutch vrijbuiter "freebooter," a word which used of pirates in the West Indies in Spanish (filibustero) and French (flibustier) forms, either or both of which gave the word to American English (see freebooter).
Used 1850s and '60s of lawless adventurers from the U.S. who tried to overthrow Central American governments. The legislative sense is not in Bartlett (1859) and seems not to have been in use in U.S. legislative writing before 1865. Probably the extension in sense is because obstructionist legislators "pirated" debate or overthrew the usual order of authority. Not technically restricted to U.S. Senate, but that's where the strategy works best.
1853 in both the freebooting and the legislative senses, from filibuster (n.). Related: Filibustered; filibustering.
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.