noun \ˈle-jəs-ˌlā-chər also ˌle-jəs-ˈ, British often ˈle-jəs-lə-\

: a group of people with the power to make or change laws

Full Definition of LEGISLATURE

:  a body of persons having the power to legislate; specifically :  an organized body having the authority to make laws for a political unit


  1. Our legislature passed a law requiring people to wear safety belts.
  2. Each state has its own legislature.

First Known Use of LEGISLATURE


Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Lawmaking branch of a government. Before the advent of legislatures, the law was dictated by monarchs. Early European legislatures include the English Parliament and the Icelandic Althing (founded c. 930). Legislatures may be unicameral or bicameral (see bicameral system). Their powers may include passing laws, establishing the government's budget, confirming executive appointments, ratifying treaties, investigating the executive branch, impeaching and removing from office members of the executive and judiciary, and redressing constituents' grievances. Members may be appointed or directly or indirectly elected; they may represent an entire population, particular groups, or territorial subdistricts. In presidential systems, the executive and legislative branches are clearly separated; in parliamentary systems, members of the executive branch are chosen from the legislative membership. See also Bundestag; Congress of the United States; Diet; Duma; European Parliament; Knesset; Canadian Parliament.


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