Senate Sen"ate, n. [OE. senat, F. s['e]nat, fr. L. senatus, fr. senex, gen. senis, old, an old man. See {Senior}, {Sir}.] 1. An assembly or council having the highest deliberative and legislative functions. Specifically: (a) (Anc. Rom.) A body of elders appointed or elected from among the nobles of the nation, and having supreme legislative authority. [1913 Webster]

The senate was thus the medium through which all affairs of the whole government had to pass. --Dr. W. Smith. [1913 Webster] (b) The upper and less numerous branch of a legislature in various countries, as in France, in the United States, in most of the separate States of the United States, and in some Swiss cantons. (c) In general, a legislative body; a state council; the legislative department of government. [1913 Webster]

2. The governing body of the Universities of Cambridge and London. [Eng.] [1913 Webster]

3. In some American colleges, a council of elected students, presided over by the president of the college, to which are referred cases of discipline and matters of general concern affecting the students. [U. S.] [1913 Webster]

{Senate chamber}, a room where a senate meets when it transacts business.

{Senate house}, a house where a senate meets when it transacts business. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.