(usually initial capital letter) the legislature of Great Britain, historically the assembly of the three estates, now composed of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal, forming together the House of Lords, and representatives of the counties, cities, boroughs, and universities, forming the House of Commons.
(usually initial capital letter) the legislature of certain British colonies and possessions.
a legislative body in any of various other countries.
French History. any of several high courts of justice in France before 1789.
a meeting or assembly for conference on public or national affairs.
Cards. (def 1).
Contemporary Examples

Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope, the story of an Irish lawyer who more or less wanders into parliament.
Scott Turow: How I Write Noah Charney October 22, 2013

A few weeks ago, the Iranian parliament, again, of course, handpicked by Khamenei, was ready to impeach the impudent Mohallel.
Is Khamenei the New Putin? Abbas Milani September 25, 2011

In July, parliament lowered its quota for female lawmakers on provincial councils from 25 percent to 20 percent.
Legalized Spousal Abuse Is Coming to Afghanistan Nina Strochlic February 12, 2014

The vast majority of the Members of parliament can do little more for you than the typical person in the street.
Ask a Question, Win a Book David Frum May 15, 2012

Once the Salafis are in parliament, “banks will become Islamic banks,” explained Doa.
Ultraconservative Islamist Party Reshapes Egypt’s Politics Ursula Lindsey December 7, 2011

Historical Examples

In 1890 a bill for this purpose received 44 out of 114 votes in the parliament.
The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV Various

I can hardly think that parliament will adopt a different view.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various

You carried the Liberals into parliament Street on your own shoulders.
The Convert Elizabeth Robins

This period, beginning with 1840, has been styled “a memorable decade” in the history of parliament.
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook

Yet I believe you will have a new parliament; but I care not whether you have or no a better.
The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift

an assembly of the representatives of a political nation or people, often the supreme legislative authority
any legislative or deliberative assembly, conference, etc
Also parlement. (in France before the Revolution) any of several high courts of justice in which royal decrees were registered
the highest legislative authority in Britain, consisting of the House of Commons, which exercises effective power, the House of Lords, and the sovereign
a similar legislature in another country
the two chambers of a Parliament
the lower chamber of a Parliament
any of the assemblies of such a body created by a general election and royal summons and dissolved before the next election

c.1300, “consultation; formal conference, assembly,” from Old French parlement (11c.), originally “a speaking, talk,” from parler “to speak” (see parley (n.)); spelling altered c.1400 to conform with Medieval Latin parliamentum.

Anglo-Latin parliamentum is attested from early 13c. Specific sense “representative assembly of England or Ireland” emerged by mid-14c. from general meaning “a conference of the secular and/or ecclesiastical aristocracy summoned by a monarch.”
parliament [(pahr-luh-muhnt)]

An assembly of representatives, usually of an entire nation, that makes laws. Parliaments began in the Middle Ages in struggles for power between kings and their people. Today, parliaments differ from other kinds of legislatures in one important way: some of the representatives in the parliament serve as government ministers, in charge of carrying out the laws that the parliament passes. Generally, a parliament is divided by political parties, and the representative who leads the strongest political party in the parliament becomes the nation’s head of government. This leader is usually called the prime minister or premier. Typically, a different person — usually a king, queen, or president — is head of state, and this person’s duties are usually more ceremonial than governmental.

Note: The number of nations governed by parliaments has greatly increased in modern times.


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