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See also: Parliament


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.



parliament (plural parliaments)

  1. (politics) Meanings relating to a political body authorized to exercise governmental powers.
    1. An institution whose elected or appointed members meet to debate the major political issues of the day and usually to exercise legislative powers and sometimes judicial powers.
      • 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 [Nicolas] Sarkozy's ruling UMP. [Rachida] Dati is already a local mayor in the neighbourhood, a job felt to have been handed to her on a plate when she was a Sarkozy favourite. She has since fallen from grace, and when she left government she took a European parliament seat, considered a consolation prize.
    2. A group of representatives of the people elected or appointed to serve as a parliament (in sense 1 above) for a certain period of time. In this sense the word is commonly used with an ordinal number (for example, first parliament and 12th parliament) or a descriptive adjective (for example, Long Parliament, Short Parliament and Rump Parliament).
      Following the general election, Jane Doe took her oath of office as a member of the nation's fifth parliament.
  2. A flock of owls or rooks.
  3. (historical) Parliament cake; a type of gingerbread.

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