Definition for SEN'ATE

SEN'ATE, n. [Fr. senat; It. senato; Sp. senado; L. senatus, from senex, old, Ir. sean, W. hen; Ar. سَنً sanna, or سَنَه sanah, to be advanced in years. Under the former verb is the Arabic word signifying a tooth, showing that this is only a dialectical variation of the Heb. שן. The primary sense is to extend, to advance or to wear. A senate was originally a council of elders.]

  1. An assembly or council of senators; a body of the principal inhabitants of a city or state, invested with a share in the government. The senate of ancient Rome was one of the most illustrious bodies of men that ever bore this name. Some of the Swiss cantons have a senate, either legislative or executive.
  2. In the United States, senate denotes the higher branch or house of a legislature. Such is the senate of the United States, or upper house of the congress; and in most of the states, the higher and least numerous branch of the legislature is called the senate. In the United States, the senate is an elective body.
  3. In a looser sense, any legislative or deliberative body of men; as, the eloquence of the senate.

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