All Words > Filibuster

Wednesday, April 10

Filibuster

[/ˈfiləˌbəstər/]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Dutch/Middle English

1.

A political tactic intended to delay or block legislation

2.

A speech that lasts several hours or even days

Examples of Filibuster in a sentence

"Use of the filibuster has become increasingly controversial."

"Just when it looked like the bill was going to pass, a senator began a filibuster that lasted the entire day."

About Filibuster

Blocking or delaying legislature via filibuster has a lengthy history in American politics. Meaning "pirate" in Dutch, the tactic got its name when it was used to prevent the vote of a bill in the 1850s. Filibusters usually consist of long speeches, readings, or debates seeking to stall and eventually kill off a bill.

Did you Know?

The classic Frank Capra film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring Jimmy Stewart in the title role, ends with a climactic filibuster.

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