a long speech made in a parliament in order to delay a vote Word Origin late 18th cent.: from French flibustier, first applied to pirates who pillaged the Spanish colonies in the West Indies. In the mid 19th cent. (via Spanish filibustero), the term denoted American adventurers who incited revolution in several Latin American states. The verb was used to describe tactics intended to sabotage US congressional proceedings, which led to the current meaning.