legislate

verb

leg·​is·​late ˈle-jə-ˌslāt How to pronounce legislate (audio)
legislated; legislating

intransitive verb

: to perform the function of legislation
specifically : to make or enact laws

transitive verb

: to mandate, establish, or regulate by or as if by legislation

Examples of legislate in a Sentence

They are attempting to legislate morality. the need to better legislate foreign trade trying to legislate changes in the current law
Recent Examples on the Web If elected, what would your top 3 policy priorities be?: Uphold the rule of law and never legislate from the bench. Harriet Ramos, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 Presidential immunity against federal indictment would mean that, as to the President, the Congress could not legislate, the Executive could not prosecute and the Judiciary could not review. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 14 Feb. 2024 Knight will strictly interpret the law as written and never legislate from the bench. James Hartley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 11 Feb. 2024 The question remains hypothetical, however, as current Finnish law prohibits nuclear weapons on Finnish territory, and the president cannot legislate. Johanna Lemola, New York Times, 11 Feb. 2024 Yet officials acknowledged that more comprehensive regulation would need an act of Congress, which still seems far from agreeing on how, or even whether, to legislate limits. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Dec. 2023 Its attempt to legislate a near-ban was rejected amid mass protests. Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2024 France was the only Western European country that actively legislated under Nazi occupation. Robert O. Paxton, Harper's Magazine, 17 Dec. 2023 That is until it was legislated into obsolescence in the 1960s by onerous parking requirements. Curbed, 29 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'legislate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

back-formation from legislator

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of legislate was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near legislate

Cite this Entry

“Legislate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legislate. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

legislate

verb
leg·​is·​late ˈlej-ə-ˌslāt How to pronounce legislate (audio)
legislated; legislating
1
: to make laws
the constitutional power to legislate
2
: to cause, establish, or regulate by legislation
legislating foreign trade

Legal Definition

legislate

verb
leg·​is·​late ˈle-jəs-ˌlāt How to pronounce legislate (audio)
legislated; legislating

intransitive verb

: to perform the function of legislation
specifically : to make or enact laws

transitive verb

: to cause, create, provide, or bring about by legislation

More from Merriam-Webster on legislate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!