1. Abbr. Sen. An assembly or a council of citizens having the highest deliberative and legislative functions in a government, specifically:
a. Senate The upper house of the US Congress, to which two members are elected from each state by popular vote for a six-year term.
b. often Senate The upper house in the bicameral legislature of many states in the United States.
c. Senate The upper legislative house in Canada, France, and some other countries.
d. The supreme council of state of the ancient Roman Republic and later of the Roman Empire.
2. The building or hall in which such a council or assembly meets.
3. A governing, advisory, or disciplinary body of some colleges and universities composed of faculty members and sometimes student representatives.
[Middle English senat, from Old French, from Latin senātus, from senex, sen-, old, an elder; see sen- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.