leg·​is·​la·​ture | \ ˈle-jə-ˌslā-chər also ˌle-jə-ˈslā- , British often ˈle-jə-slə-chə\

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

Examples of legislature in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described her as an assemblywoman for the state legislature. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Death Toll in Brazilian Mining-Dam Disaster Jumps to 34," 26 Jan. 2019 The Internet service provider urged employees to submit a form letter asking Governor Jerry Brown to veto the net neutrality bill that was recently approved by the state legislature. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Net neutrality gives “free” Internet to Netflix and Google, ISP claims," 10 Sep. 2018 Republican candidate Adam Putnam has come out against some of the major provisions of a bill championed by current Republican Gov. Rick Scott and passed by the state legislature after the school shooting. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Advertising surges past $132 million in governors' races this year," 10 June 2018 Currently, maps for Congress are done by legislation; maps for the legislature are done by legislative leaders. John Baer, Philly.com, "A surprising rift among progressives could snag Pa. redistricting reform | John Baer," 5 June 2018 Take the election held in May for the legislature of Karnataka, a southern state with a population the size of Britain’s. The Economist, "People in India often despair of their democracy," 31 May 2018 The 14 other members were appointed by Republican leaders in the legislature and former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Alex Derosier, The Seattle Times, "North Carolina gov: Endangered wolf protection should stay," 31 July 2018 These bills and redistricting plans are often advanced by Republican state legislatures in the name of cracking down on voter fraud. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "The fight for voting rights is personal for Rep. Terri Sewell," 11 Dec. 2018 Friday’s signing ends one phase of the process of redefining Nafta, and opens the next—the push to win approval from the legislatures in all three countries. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S., Mexico and Canada Sign Pact to Replace Nafta," 30 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legislature.' 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 legislature

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for legislature

The first known use of legislature was circa 1676

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English Language Learners Definition of legislature

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


leg·​is·​la·​ture | \ ˈle-jə-ˌslā-chər \

Kids Definition of legislature

: a body of persons having the power to make and change laws


leg·​is·​la·​ture | \ ˈle-jəs-ˌlā-chər, -ˌchu̇r \

Legal 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 (as a nation or state) — compare executive, judiciary

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