leg·is·la·tion | \ ˌle-jə-ˈslā-shən \

Definition of legislation 

1 : the action of legislating specifically : the exercise of the power and function of making rules (such as laws) that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organization the major function of Congress is legislation —W. S. Sayre

2 : the enactments of a legislator or a legislative body legislation to help distressed homeowners

3 : a matter of business for or under consideration by a legislative body She proposed new legislation to protect the environment.

Examples of legislation in a Sentence

They passed new state legislation this week. Two new pieces of legislation are being considered. She introduced legislation for protecting the environment. More legislation is needed on this matter. Certain animals are protected under state legislation. One of the important functions of government is legislation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While laws can often lag decades or more behind social norms, legislation related to breastfeeding has passed more swiftly by comparison. Rebecca Beitsch, The Christian Science Monitor, "All US states now allow breastfeeding in public," 13 July 2018 Prosecutors said Dean Skelos took advantage of the companies, which relied on the state for legislation and other benefits. Gerald Porter Jr., WSJ, "Dean Skelos Retrial Expected to Head to Jury Thursday," 11 July 2018 Identical riders were included in appropriations legislation and continuing resolutions for 2016 and 2017. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Health insurers file suit for billions of dollars from federal government over Affordable Care Act commitments," 2 July 2018 Trump touts daughter Ivanka’s role in pushing the child tax credit in the tax reform legislation. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Very Reassuring: Trump Says Ivanka and Melania ‘Love the Women’," 28 June 2018 Most recently Louisiana enacted legislation banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and Iowa adopted a ban on abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected (usually six weeks after conception). Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Steps the Next Supreme Court Might Take to Roll Back Abortion Rights," 27 June 2018 The next year, the House and Senate tried to tackle immigration but never resolved the deep differences in their legislation. Paul Kane, Anchorage Daily News, "Congress' record on immigration is repeated failures," 24 June 2018 The action comes after Mr. Trump met with House Republicans working on immigration legislation and trade policies. CBS News, "Trump signs executive order on family separation but says "zero tolerance" to stay," 20 June 2018 Cannabis growers: Updates for cannabis growers on proposed San Francisco tax legislation and cannabis commission, and on labor law. SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area political events: Immigration rally, World Refugee Day," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legislation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of legislation

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for legislation

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for legislation

The first known use of legislation was in 1606

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English Language Learners Definition of legislation

: a law or set of laws made by a government

: the action or process of making laws


leg·is·la·tion | \ ˌle-jə-ˈslā-shən \

Kids Definition of legislation

1 : the action of making laws

2 : the laws that are made Congress passed new legislation protecting the environment.


leg·is·la·tion | \ ˌle-jəs-ˈlā-shən \

Legal Definition of legislation 

1 : the making or giving of laws specifically : the exercise of the power and function of making rules that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of the state

2 : the enactments of a legislator or legislative body

3 : a matter of business for or under consideration by a legislative body recently proposed legislation

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Comments on legislation

What made you want to look up legislation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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