Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of senate

See also

Definition of senate


    From Middle English senat, from Old French senat, from Latin senātus (“council of elderes; a senate”), from senex (“old”).


  • (RP, UA) IPA: /ˈsɛnɪt/, /ˈsɛnət/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɛnɪt


senate (plural senates)

  1. In some bicameral legislative systems, the upper house or chamber.
  2. A group of experienced, respected, wise individuals serving as decision makers or advisors in a political system or in institutional governance, as in a university, and traditionally of advanced age and male.

    * 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley,"The Revolt of Islam", canto 11, stanza 13, lines 4338-9,
    Before the Tyrant's throne
    All night his aged Senate sate.

Proper noun


  1. A legislative body in many countries.
  2. (historical) The council that governed the ancient Roman Republic.
  3. (Canadian) The Senate of Canada; the upper house of the Canadian parliament; "the Senate".
  4. (US) The United States Senate, "the Senate".
  5. (US) The upper legislative body of many of the states of the United States.

Further reading

A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class. Two of the first official senates were the Spartan Gerousia ("ερουσία) and the Roman Senate.

Many countries currently have an assembly named a senate, composed of senators who may be elected, appointed, have inherited the title, or gained membership by other methods, depending on the country. Modern senates typically serve to provide a chamber of "sober second thought" to consider legislation passed by a lower house, whose members are usually elected.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     quorum
2.     scienter
3.     lex situs
4.     lex causae
5.     AORO
6.     adjudication order
7.     lex domicilii
8.     Miranda warning
9.     lex patriae
10.     lex loci celebrationis