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

There isn’t yet consensus legislation on voting reforms, some of which will also require constitutional amendments, or on campaign-finance reforms. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Ethics and Campaign Reforms on Horizon in Albany," 8 Jan. 2019 The Seattle City Council is considering legislation that would make changes in 27 urban villages and some other areas while imposing new requirements on developers to help create affordable housing. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle City Council starts debate on upzones; here’s how neighborhoods across the city would be affected," 8 Jan. 2019 The GH Sustainability Awards will honor packaging by examining measurable criteria including material type and origin, product to packaging weight ratio, recyclability, compliance with model legislation and innovation. Good Housekeeping, "Frequently Asked Questions About Good Housekeeping's Sustainability Awards," 7 Nov. 2018 Congress’ most recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — legislation which outlines the Defense Department’s policies for each year — also called for the creation of a US Space Command, as a subunit of USSTRATCOM. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018 Davidson, a member of the Republican Party's Freedom Caucus, is also drafting proposed legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Ohio Congressman: We can fund border wall with “WallCoin”," 13 Dec. 2018 Initiatives to reduce consumption are gaining momentum, from Kenya's ban on plastic bags to California's legislation against plastic straws. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 The campaign's work, which includes planned legislation, educating consumers, and raising awareness about what happens during animal testing, is aimed at ending the practice of animal testing within five years. Lauren Rearick, Allure, "Unilever Announced Its Support of a Global Ban on Animal-Tested Cosmetics," 12 Oct. 2018 Redbook: Does your medical training have an impact on your gun legislation efforts? Kaitlin Menza, Redbook, "Everything You Need to Know Before Voting in the Midterm Elections," 10 Oct. 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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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on legislation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with legislation

Spanish Central: Translation of legislation

Nglish: Translation of legislation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legislation for Arabic Speakers

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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