Par"lia*ment (?), n. [OE. parlement, F. parlement, fr. parler to speak; cf. LL. parlamentum, parliamentum. See Parley.]
A parleying; a discussion; a conference.
But first they held their parliament.
Rom. of R.
A formal conference on public affairs; a general council; esp., an assembly of representatives of a nation or people having authority to make laws.
They made request that it might be lawful for them to summon a parliament of Gauls.
The assembly of the three estates of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, viz., the lords spiritual, lords temporal, and the representatives of the commons, sitting in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, constituting the legislature, when summoned by the royal authority to consult on the affairs of the nation, and to enact and repeal laws.
Thought the sovereign is a constituting branch of Parliament, the word is generally used to denote the three estates named above.
In France, before the Revolution of 1789, one of the several principal judicial courts.
Parliament heel, the inclination of a ship when made to careen by shifting her cargo or ballast. -- Parliament hinge Arch., a hinge with so great a projection from the wall or frame as to allow a door or shutter to swing back flat against the wall. -- Long Parliament, Rump Parliament. See under Long, and Rump.
© Webster 1913.