A parliament is a legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

 modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler (to speak): a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which such a discussion took place. It acquired its modern meaning as it came to be used for the body of people (in an institutional sense) who would meet to discuss matters of state.
Legislatures called parliaments operate under a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government in which the executive is constitutionally answerable to the parliament.

1077    The first Parliament of Friuli is created.

1581    The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.

1606    Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England.

1679    King Charles II of England disbands Parliament.

1689    The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded.

1825    The British Parliament abolishes feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America.

1856    The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the second piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

1991    Apartheid: the South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act which required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.

1991    The German parliament decides to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

1993    Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and scraps the then-functioning constitution, thus triggering the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.