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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

 
The Palace of Westminster in London, England, which is the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom

From Anglo-Norman parliament, parlement, parliment, and Middle French and Old French parlement (discussion, meeting, negotiation; assembly, council), from parler (to speak) + -ment (-ment, suffix forming nouns from verbs, usually indicating an action or state resulting from them) (from Latin -mentum). Compare Late Latin parlamentum, parliamentum (discussion, meeting; council or court summoned by the monarch), Italian parlamento.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

parliament (plural parliaments)

  1. (now chiefly historical) A formal council summoned (especially by a monarch) to discuss important issues. [from 14th c.]
  2. The supreme executive legislature of (originally) the United Kingdom, subsequently applied to corresponding legilative assemblies in other countries; an institution whose elected or appointed members meet to debate the major political issues of the day and usually to exercise legislative sometimes judicial powers. [from 14th c.]
    • 2011 December 14, Angelique Chrisafis, “Rachida Dati accuses French PM of sexism and elitism”, in The Guardian[1], London, archived from the original on 19 April 2016:
      The row started over who will run for parliament in a wealthy rightwing constituency on the left bank in Paris, a safe seat for Sarkozy's ruling UMP.
  3. An assembly of the members of such a legislature, as convened for a specific purpose or period of time (commonly designated with an ordinal number – for example, first parliament or 12th parliament – or a descriptive adjective – for example, Long Parliament, Short Parliament and Rump Parliament). [from 14th c.]
    Following the general election, Jane Doe took her oath of office as a member of the nation's fifth parliament.
    • 1633, John Hay, editor, The Acts Made in the First Parliament of our Most High and Dread Soveraigne Charles, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.: Holden by Himselfe, Present in Person, with His Three Estates, at Edinburgh, upon the Twentie Eight Day of Iune, Anno Domini 1633, Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Young, printer to the Kings most excellent Maiestie, OCLC 606535094, title page:
      The acts made in the first Parliament of our most high and dread soveraigne Charles, by the grace of God, King of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. []
    • 1834, Walter Scott, Tales of a Grandfather (Waverley Tales; 49), volume I, Parker's edition, Boston, Mass.: Samuel H[ale] Parker, OCLC 191248677, page 223:
      [T]he army under Lambert again thrust the Rump Parliament out of doors, and commenced a new military government, by means of a committee of officers, called the Council of Safety.
  4. A gathering of birds, especially rooks or owls. [from 15th c.]
    • 1866, [Charlotte Mary Yonge], chapter III, in The Heir of Redclyffe [] In Two Volumes, volume I, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, 443 & 445 Broadway, OCLC 236091751, page 32:
      "The people at home call it a rook's parliament when a whole crowd of rooks settle on some bare, wide common, and sit there as if they were consulting, not feeding, only stalking about with drooping wings, and solemn black cloaks."
    • 2015 January 5, Desmond Mattocks, “Seeking Meaning”, in The Last Word of America: The World in Context of America, Bloomington, Ind.: WestBow Press, ISBN 978-1-4908-6262-0, page 97:
      Man is not the random collection of atoms with no opportunity for redemption. A mere school of fish, a gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, and a congress of baboons—am I to believe these lower primates are my ancestors? And if I should ask a parliament of owls, what might they say?
    • 2016, Alan Moore, Jerusalem, Liveright 2016, p. 122:
      He'd seen a parliament of rooks a hundred strong fall on and kill one of their number amongst the nodding barley rows, and had been shown a yew that had the face of Jesus in its bark.
  5. (historical) Parliament cake, a type of gingerbread. [from 19th c.]

Usage noteEdit

The word is usually capitalized when used as a proper noun referring to a particular parliament.

Alternative formsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit