All Words Glossary

Glossary of Governance - Government Terms
beginning with letter B
Browse the Governance - Government Glossary

backbencher Tweet Definition of backbencher Like Definition of backbencher on Facebook
  1. a British Member of Parliament who does not have cabinet rank and therefore sits on the backbenches
bailiff Tweet Definition of bailiff Like Definition of bailiff on Facebook
  1. legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed
  2. (British) the steward or overseer of an estate
balkanize Tweet Definition of balkanize Like Definition of balkanize on Facebook
  1. To break up into small, mutually hostile political units.
ballot Tweet Definition of ballot Like Definition of ballot on Facebook
  1. a paper or card used to cast a vote
  2. the process of voting, especially in secret
  3. (context, mostly, US) a list of candidates running for office; a ticket
  4. the total of all votes cast in an election
  1. to vote
  2. to draw lots
ballot box Tweet Definition of ballot box Like Definition of ballot box on Facebook
  1. A sealed box with a slit, into which a voter puts his completed voting slip
  2. The process or method of voting
barnstorm Tweet Definition of barnstorm Like Definition of barnstorm on Facebook
  1. To travel around the countryside making political speeches etc
  2. To appear at fairs and carnivals in exhibitions of stunt flying, or sporting events
  3. An athletic team that travels from town to town performing in front of primarily small crowds
bashaw Tweet Definition of bashaw Like Definition of bashaw on Facebook
  1. A pasha.
  • 1809: he fancies himself in company with beautiful women; he dreams that he is an emperor, or a , and that the world is at his nod. " James Grey Jackson, An Account of the Empire of Marocco (London 1809, p. 79)
    1. A grandee; a self-important or arrogant person.
Battle of Britain Tweet Definition of Battle of Britain Like Definition of Battle of Britain on Facebook
proper noun
  1. A series of air engagements between the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the German Luftwaffe during World War II for air superiority over the United Kingdom prior to any German invasion of the islands.
beat Tweet Definition of beat Like Definition of beat on Facebook
  1. A pulsation or throb.
  2. A pulse on the beat level, the metric level at which pulses are heard as the basic unit. Thus a beat is the basic time unit of a piece.
  3. A rhythm.
  4. A pause with the camera focused on one shot, often a characters face (often used in screenplays/teleplays).
  5. The route of a patrol by a guard or officer as in walk the beat.
  6. In newspapering, the primary focus of a reporter's stories (such as police/courts, education, city government, business, etc.).
  7. A small part of a dramatic play.
verb (beats, beating, beat, beaten)
  1. To hit; to knock; to pound; to strike.
As soon as she heard the news, she went into a rage and the wall with her fists until her knuckles bled.
  1. To strike or pound repeatedly, usually in some sort of rhythm.
He danced hypnotically while she the atabaque.
  1. To win against; to defeat; to do better than, outdo, or excel someone in a particular, competitive event.
Jessica had little trouble beating John in tennis. He lost five games in a row.
No matter how quickly Joe finished his test, Roger always him.
  1. (context, intransitive, nautical) To sail to windward using a series of alternate tacks across the wind.
  2. To mix food in a rapid fashion. cf. whip.
Beat the eggs and whip the cream.
  1. (gay slang) fabulous
Her makeup was beat!
  1. exhausted
After the long day, she was feeling completely .
Benelux Tweet Definition of Benelux Like Definition of Benelux on Facebook
proper noun
  1. an economic and customs union made up of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; one of the precursors of the European Union
bicameral Tweet Definition of bicameral Like Definition of bicameral on Facebook
  1. having two chambers or houses. Used of legislatures which have two separate groups or chambers.
  2. having two typographical cases (e.g,. majuscule and minuscule)
Big Brother Tweet Definition of Big Brother Like Definition of Big Brother on Facebook
proper noun
  1. The nominal leader of Oceania in w:George Orwell, George Orwell's novel w:Nineteen Eighty-Four, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  2. By extension, a disparaging name for government surveillance considered to be too intrusive.
Bill Tweet Definition of Bill Like Definition of Bill on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, male), diminutive of William.
  2. (context, UK, slang) A nickname for the British constabulary. Often called "The Bill" or "Old Bill"
  3. (context, US, slang) One Hundred Dollars.
bill of attainder Tweet Definition of bill of attainder Like Definition of bill of attainder on Facebook
  1. A legislative determination imposing punishment without trial. In American law, the United States Constitution prohibits Congress from passing bills of attainder.
bill of rights Tweet Definition of bill of rights Like Definition of bill of rights on Facebook
  1. A formal statement of the rights of a specified group of people
bipartisan Tweet Definition of bipartisan Like Definition of bipartisan on Facebook
  1. relating to, or supported by two groups, especially by two political parties
birth certificate Tweet Definition of birth certificate Like Definition of birth certificate on Facebook
  1. official document certifying the details of a person's birth. Name, date, and parents' names are always included; details such as parents' occupation and religion may be included.
Black and Tan Tweet Definition of Black and Tan Like Definition of Black and Tan on Facebook
  1. A member of the RIC British irregular army group, operating against Irish republicans in the War of Independence 1920/21.
  2. (Ireland) A drink combining stout and ale.
blackball Tweet Definition of blackball Like Definition of blackball on Facebook
  1. a rejection, a vote against admitting someone
  2. a black ball used to indicate such a negative vote
Regardless how many other people may have voted to approve a candidate for membership,a single will reject the candidate.
  1. the act of so rejecting someone
bloc Tweet Definition of bloc Like Definition of bloc on Facebook
  1. a group of voters or politicians who share common goals
  2. a group of countries acting together for political or economic goals, an alliance: e.g., the eastern bloc, the western bloc, a trading bloc
blood royal Tweet Definition of blood royal Like Definition of blood royal on Facebook
  1. A member of a Royal House or dynasty who has at least one parent who was born into that particular house or bloodline.
body politic Tweet Definition of body politic Like Definition of body politic on Facebook
  1. a organized governing body.
Bolshevik Tweet Definition of Bolshevik Like Definition of Bolshevik on Facebook
  1. A Russian communist revolutionary, member of the Bolshevik Party in the 1917 Communist Revolution of Russia.
bolshie Tweet Definition of bolshie Like Definition of bolshie on Facebook
  1. (context, derogatory, Britain, dated) A government leftist, especially a communist, socialist, or labour union leader.
adjective (bolshier, bolshiest)
  1. difficult, Difficult or rebellious.
Timothy, don't be so bolshie!
bolt Tweet Definition of bolt Like Definition of bolt on Facebook
  1. A (usually) metal fastener consisting of a cylindrical body, partially or completely threaded, and a larger head; it is inserted into an unthreaded hole (unlike a screw) up to the head, and a nut is threaded on the other end.
  2. A slide, sliding pin or bar in a lock or latch mechanism.
  3. A bar of wood or metal dropped in hooks on a door and adjoining walls, or between the two sides of a double door, to prevent the door(s) from being forced open.
  4. A sliding mechanism to chamber and unchamber a round in a gun.
  5. A shaft or missile intended to be shot from a crossbow or a catapult, especially a short, stout, blunt-headed arrow.
  6. A lightning spark, i.e. lightning bolt: a bolt from the blue.
  7. A large roll of material, e.g. fabric: a bolt of cloth.
  8. (nautical) The standard measurement of length of canvas for use at sea; 39 yards
  1. To connect or assemble pieces using a bolt.
Bolt the vice to the bench.
  1. To secure a door by locking or barring it.
Bolt the door.
  1. To accelerate suddenly.
The horse bolted.
  1. To escape.
  2. Of a plant, to grow quickly; to go to seed.
Lettuce and spinach will as the weather warms up.
bond Tweet Definition of bond Like Definition of bond on Facebook
Evidence of a long-term debt, by which the bond issuer (the borrower) is obliged to pay interest when due, and repay the principal at maturity, as specified on the face of the bond certificate. The rights of the holder are specified in the bond indenture, which contains the legal terms and conditions under which the bond was issued. Bonds are available in two forms: registered bonds, and bearer bonds.
  1. A documentary obligation to pay a sum or to perform a contract; a debenture.
Many say that government and corporate bonds are a good investment to balance against a portfolio consisting primarily of stocks.
  1. A physical connection which binds, a band; often plural.
The prisoner was brought before the tribunal in iron bonds.
  1. An emotional link, connection or union.
They had grown up as friends and neighbors, and not even vastly differing political views could break the of their friendship.
  1. (context, chemistry) A link or force between neighbouring atoms in a molecule.
Organic chemistry primarily consists of the study of carbon bonds, in their many variations.
  1. A binding agreement, a covenant.
Herbert resented his wife for subjecting him to the bonds of matrimony; he claimed they had gotten married while drunk.
  1. A sum of money paid as bail or surety.
The bailiff released the prisoner as soon as the was posted.
  1. Any constraining or cementing force or material.
A of superglue adhered the teacups to the ceiling, much to the consternation of the cafe owners.
  1. (context, construction) In building, a specific pattern of bricklaying.
  2. In Scotland, a mortgage.
  1. (transitive) To connect, secure or tie with a bond; to bind.
The gargantuan ape was bonded in iron chains and carted onto the stage.
  1. (transitive) To cause to adhere (one material with another).
The children bonded their snapshots to the scrapbook pages with mucilage.
  1. (context, transitive, chemistry) To form a chemical compound with.
Under unusual conditions, even gold can be made to bond with other elements.
  1. (transitive) To guarantee or secure a financial risk.
The contractor was bonded with a local underwriter.
  1. To form a friendship or emotional connection.
The men had bonded while serving together in Vietnam.
  1. (transitive) To put in a bonded warehouse.
  2. (context, transitive, construction) To lay bricks in a specific pattern.
  3. (context, transitive, electricity) To make a reliable electrical connection between two conductors (or any pieces of metal that may potentially become conductors).
A house's distribution panel should always be bonded to the grounding rods via a panel bond.
borough Tweet Definition of borough Like Definition of borough on Facebook
  1. (obsolete) A fortified town; a town or city.
  2. A town having a municipal corporation and certain traditional rights.
  3. An administrative district in some cities, e.g., London.
  4. An administrative unit of a city which, under most circumstances according to state or national law, would be considered a larger or more powerful entity; most commonly used in American English to define the five counties that make up New York City.
  5. Other similar administrative units in cities and states in various parts of the world.
  6. A district in Alaska having powers similar to a county.
proper nounThe Borough
  1. The area, properly called Southwark, just south of London Bridge.
boss Tweet Definition of boss Like Definition of boss on Facebook
  1. A person in charge of a business or company.
  • Chat turned to whisper when the entered the conference room.
    1. A person who oversees and directs the work of others; a supervisor; someone who fires people.
My complains that I'm always late to work.
  1. A leader, the head of an organized group or team.
They named him because he had good leadership skills.
  1. The head of a political party in a given region or district.
He is the Republican in Kentucky.
  1. (context, mechanical) A protrusion, frequently a cylinder of material that extends beyond a hole.
  2. (architecture) A knob or projection, usually at the intersection of ribs in a vault.
  3. a hassock or footrest
  4. the strengthened area at the centre of a shield to the hand grip, which is attached to the rear of the boss. The boss is frequently made of metal even when the remainder of the shield is of wood or leather
verb (boss, es)
  1. To exercise authoritative control; to lord over; to boss around; to tell someone what to do, often repeatedly.
  • You aren't my father. You can't me around!.
    1. (rare) To decorate with bosses; to emboss.
  1. (slang) of excellent quality, first-rate
bourgeois Tweet Definition of bourgeois Like Definition of bourgeois on Facebook
  1. of or related to middle class attitudes and conventions.
  2. belonging to the middle class.
  3. of, or related to capitalist exploitation of the working class.
brinkmanship Tweet Definition of brinkmanship Like Definition of brinkmanship on Facebook
  1. Pursuit of an advantage by appearing to be willing to risk a dangerous policy rather than concede a point.
The diplomat accused the other nation's leader of for refusing to redeploy the troops along their nations' shared border.
Brownshirt Tweet Definition of Brownshirt Like Definition of Brownshirt on Facebook
  1. A uniformed member of the German National Socialist Party.
  2. Any member of a national socialist party.
buffer Tweet Definition of buffer Like Definition of buffer on Facebook
  1. Someone or something that buffs.
  2. (chemistry) A solution used to stabilize the pH (acidity) of a liquid.
  3. (computing) A portion of memory set aside to store data, often before it is sent to an external device or as it is received from an external device.
  4. (mechanical) Anything used to maintain slack or isolate different objects.
  5. (telecommunications) A routine or storage medium used to compensate for a difference in rate of flow of data, or time of occurrence of events, when transferring data from one device to another.
  6. An isolating circuit, often an amplifier, used to minimize the influence of a driven circuit on the driving circuit.
  7. In international relations, a buffer zone (such as a demilitarized zone) or a buffer state.
verb (buffer)
  1. To use a buffer or buffers; to isolate or minimize the effects of one thing on another.
  2. (computing) To store data in memory temporarily.
buffer zone Tweet Definition of buffer zone Like Definition of buffer zone on Facebook
  1. A neutral area, between hostile forces, designed to prevent hostilities
  2. A transitional area between areas of different land use
bulge Tweet Definition of bulge Like Definition of bulge on Facebook
  1. Something sticking out from a surface.
The bulge on the dog's neck indicated there was something wrong.
verb (bulg, ing)
  1. To stick out from (a surface).
The submarine bulged because of the enormous air pressure inside.
bully pulpit Tweet Definition of bully pulpit Like Definition of bully pulpit on Facebook
  1. an advantageous position from which to express one's views
bund Tweet Definition of bund Like Definition of bund on Facebook
  1. a league or confederacy; especially the confederation of German states.
  2. A secondary enclosure, typically consisting of a wall or berm, which surrounds a tank or fluid-handling mechanism, intended to contain any spills or leaks.
The most important of these secondary containment provisions are bunds, which are enclosures capable of holding liquids that may escape from the vessels and pipes within the bund wall. -- Second progress report on the Buncefield investigation
  1. To provide berms or other secondary enclosures to guard against accidental fluid spills within.
Plant room floors are generally bunded and/or waterproofed to contain any leaks or spillages of liquids and fluids from faulty tanks, plant or pipe work. RIW Ltd. Waterproofing Products
bunkum Tweet Definition of bunkum Like Definition of bunkum on Facebook
  1. (slang) bunk; senseless talk; nonsense
Synonyms - see WikiSaurus:nonsense
bureau Tweet Definition of bureau Like Definition of bureau on Facebook
noun (pl=bureaux, pl2=bureaus)
  1. office
  2. desk, usually with a cover and compartments for storing papers etc. located above the level of the writing surface rather than underneath
  3. chest of drawers for clothes
bureaucracy Tweet Definition of bureaucracy Like Definition of bureaucracy on Facebook
noun (bureaucracies)
  1. Structure and regulations in place to control activity. Usually in large organizations and government operations.
bureaucrat Tweet Definition of bureaucrat Like Definition of bureaucrat on Facebook
  1. An official who is part of a bureaucracy
bureaucratic Tweet Definition of bureaucratic Like Definition of bureaucratic on Facebook
  1. Of or pertaining to bureaucracy or the actions of bureaucrats.
burgh Tweet Definition of burgh Like Definition of burgh on Facebook
  1. A Scottish borough
burgher Tweet Definition of burgher Like Definition of burgher on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, Burgher People)
  1. a citizen of a borough or town
  2. a prosperous member of the community; a middle class citizen (may connote complacency)
  3. a member of either of two mixed race groups in Sri Lanka. The Portuguese Burghers were formed by intermarriage of Portuguese and native Sri Lankans during the Portuguese colonial period and are mostly Roman Catholic in religion. The Dutch Burghers were formed during the Dutch period and are mostly members of the Dutch Reformed Church. The two groups of Burghers are combined for government purposes including parliamentary representation. Many Burghers have migrated to other countries since Sri Lankan independence.
    • a member of the medieval mercantile class
    • a citizen of a medieval city
burgomaster Tweet Definition of burgomaster Like Definition of burgomaster on Facebook
  1. The mayor, or head magistrate, of a town in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and certain other countries.
by-election Tweet Definition of by-election Like Definition of by-election on Facebook
noun (or bye-election)
  1. a special election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between general elections

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