from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hall, foyer, or waiting room at or near the entrance to a building, such as a hotel or theater.
  • noun A public room next to the assembly chamber of a legislative body.
  • noun A group of persons engaged in trying to influence legislators or other public officials in favor of a specific cause.
  • intransitive verb To try to influence the thinking of legislators or other public officials for or against a specific cause.
  • intransitive verb To try to influence public officials on behalf of or against (proposed legislation, for example).
  • intransitive verb To try to influence (an official) to take a desired action.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To frequent the lobby of a legislature or other deliberative body for the purpose of influencing the official action of members; solicit votes from members, whether in the lobby or elsewhere.
  • To promote or carry by solicitation of legislative favor or votes: as, to lobby a measure through Congress.
  • noun An inclosed space surrounding or communicating with one or more apartments.
  • noun Nautical, an apartment immediately before the captain's cabin.
  • noun Persons who occupy or resort to the lobby or the approaches to a legislative chamber for the purpose of transacting business with the members, and especially of influencing their official action or votes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Arch.) A passage or hall of communication, especially when large enough to serve also as a waiting room. It differs from an antechamber in that a lobby communicates between several rooms, an antechamber to one only; but this distinction is not carefully preserved.
  • noun United States, United States, United States That part of a hall of legislation not appropriated to the official use of the assembly; hence, the persons, collectively, who frequent such a place to transact business with the legislators
  • noun (Naut.) An apartment or passageway in the fore part of an old-fashioned cabin under the quarter-deck.
  • noun (Agric.) A confined place for cattle, formed by hedges. trees, or other fencing, near the farmyard.
  • noun [Humorous cant, U. S.] a lobbyist.
  • intransitive verb U.S. To address or solicit members of a legislative body in the lobby or elsewhere, with the purpose to influence their votes; in an extended sense, to try to influence decision-makers in any circumstance.
  • transitive verb U.S. To urge the adoption or passage of by soliciting members of a legislative body; ; -- also used with the legislators as object.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun informal scouse (from lobscouse)
  • noun An entryway or reception area; vestibule; passageway; corridor.
  • noun A class or group of people who try to lobby or influence public officials; collectively, lobbyists.
  • noun video games A virtual area where players can chat and find opponents for a game.
  • verb intransitive, transitive To attempt to influence (a public official or decision-maker) in favor of a specific opinion or cause.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors
  • noun a group of people who try actively to influence legislation
  • noun a large entrance or reception room or area
  • noun the people who support some common cause or business or principle or sectional interest


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Medieval Latin lobia, monastic cloister, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French *lobie, from Medieval Latin lobium, lobia, laubia ("a portico, covered way, gallery") , from Old High German or Middle High German.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word lobby.


  • The Long Pavilion, for instance, which houses the main lobby, is positioned to catch the prevailing winds, so it stays cool without air-conditioning.

    Barefoot Luxury Laurie Werner 2010

  • P.S. And of course the penguin lobby is fabulously out of control.

    When the Joke's On You Roger Sutton 2008

  • The Saudi-led component of the lobby is the most insidious.

    Arab lobby’s unseen influence Steven E. Levingston 2010

  • For an extra £5, the receptionist will tell you that the woman who just walked through the lobby is a fellow guest, when it's actually his wife.

    A holiday of the last resort Victoria Coren 2010

  • Pew's use of the word "lobby" led to the Nov. 21 Washington Post headline "Religious lobbying groups multiply on Capitol Hill," and the Post's declaration that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stands among the "biggest spenders."

    Sister Mary Ann Walsh: Pew Religious Advocacy Report: Why Comparing Apples And Oranges Leads To Lemons Sister Mary Ann Walsh 2011

  • Anticipation for Chili Day, happening today 11: 45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lobby is at an all-time high, thanks in part to some eco-friendly decisions made by organizers.

    We put the FUN in fundraising Tyler 2009

  • Anticipation for Chili Day, happening today 11: 45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lobby is at an all-time high, thanks in part to some eco-friendly decisions made by organizers.

    Archive 2009-10-25 Tyler 2009

  • They own most oil and gas reserves in the world and their lobby is awesome; what we need is a President who can stand up to them and give power back (literally) to us, the PEOPLE!!!

    Commercializing Solar Power with Molten Salt | Inhabitat 2008

  • FREED: Now, something else that the airlines are doing here, we spoke to United, and they say that rather than wait for the problem to fly in more staff and more people to handle it, they're saying just in case it happens again, they already have enough staff on the ground here, so they can keep their -- what they call their lobby areas or their ticket check-in counter areas going 24 hours a day, just in case -- Heidi.

    CNN Transcript Dec 28, 2006 2006

  • They have made countless attempts to make sure that the inurance lobby is satisfied.

    GOP chairman isn't sure who his insurance provider is 2009

  • There have also been signs that No 10 is trying to shake up its relations with political journalists, who are collectively known as the lobby.

    Political journalists boycott No 10 briefing after reporter ban Rowena Mason 2020


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.