ETYM Old Eng. senat, French sénat, from Latin senatus, from senex, gen. senis, old, an old man. Related to Senior, Sir.
Assembly possessing high legislative powers.
In ancient Rome, the “council of elders”. Originally consisting of the heads of patrician families, it was recruited from ex-magistrates and persons who had rendered notable public service, but was periodically purged by the censors. Although nominally advisory, it controlled finance and foreign policy.
The US Senate consists of 100 members, two from each state, elected for a six-year term. The term also refers to the upper house of the Canadian parliament and to the upper chambers of Italy and France. It is also given to the governing bodies in some universities, for example, the Faculty Senate.