Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A tactic used by a legislative representative to hinder and delay consideration of and action to be taken on a proposed bill through prolonged, irrelevant, and procrastinating speeches on the floor of the House, Senate, or other legislative body.

A filibuster is stopped by cloture, a legislative procedure that enables a vote to be taken on the proposed measure.


noun attempt to obstruct legislation, blockage, cunctation, delay, delay in legislation, dilatory obstruction, hindrance, impediment, interference, obstruction to congressional action, prevention of congressional action, protraction, retardation, retardment, stalling, stoppage
See also: delay, detain, forestall, hold up, procrastinate, prolong, protract, restrain, stall
References in periodicals archive ?
President has been pressing Republicans to nix the filibuster for months and even spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.
The filibuster thus entered the couch-potato world of virtual reality, where an actual speech no longer is required to block a vote.
They suggest using what is called Rule XIX to limit debate, thus limiting the duration of a filibuster.
The filibuster in one form or another dates back to the 19th century but assumed its current form in the 1970s.
said that if Hillary Clinton won the White House and Democrats controlled the Senate, Democrats would again change the rules to prevent any Republican attempt to filibuster a Clinton nominee to the Supreme Court.
Opposition lawmaker Jung Chung-rae spoke for 11 hours and 39 minutes on Saturday, the longest speech of the filibuster thus far.
Many Republicans are eager to restore the filibuster threshold to 60 votes on all nominations, arguing that the move would be consistent with their earlier complaints about Democrats' filibuster reform.
But filibuster abolition is more than a one-shot proposition.
4) Since a three-fifths majority is necessary to invoke cloture, this increased use of the filibuster effectively imposes a supermajority vote requirement to approve nominations or pass most legislation in the Senate.
They think that the Senate's current filibuster system cannot be abolished by a simple majority vote.
The filibuster has been so effective over the centuries because it's been difficult to stop: Senators must first vote to cut off debate before they can even consider approving a bill or nomination.
If Obama's nominees are going to get a vote, Majority Leader Harry Reid will need to threaten, as he has before, to "go nuclear"--that is, to change Senate rules ending the minority's ability to filibuster presidential nominations.