leg·​is·​la·​ture | \ ˈle-jə-ˌslā-chər How to pronounce legislature (audio) 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 Back in the 1970s, Oregon was the 25th state to have its legislature ratify what was widely called the ERA, three days after South Dakota and just hours before Minnesota. oregonlive, "Oregon ratified the federal Equal Rights Amendment almost 47 years ago – and added a state version in 2014," 16 Jan. 2020 In 1868, Congress counted Ohio and New Jersey as among 29 states ratifying the 14th Amendment, despite their legislatures voting to revoke their approval. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Virginia Votes to Ratify ERA, Setting Up Likely Legal Battle," 15 Jan. 2020 Twenty-four other states are dealing with sports betting legislation within their legislatures. BostonGlobe.com, "■ It’s possible New Hampshire will be the only New England state to offer sports betting by the end of 2020.," 27 Dec. 2019 In a video posted the following day, Fisher described her group's recent successes in state legislatures across the country. Anchorage Daily News, "Major funder of anti-vaccine movement makes millions selling ‘natural’ health products," 23 Dec. 2019 The issue will continue to pop up in state legislatures and through ballot initiatives around the nation (Arizona, Florida, Missouri, South Dakota). Polina Marinova, Fortune, "A VC Predicts Tech’s Top 10 Policy Fights of 2020," 9 Dec. 2019 Undercounts can mean underrepresentation in Congress or in state legislatures. Doug Thompson, Arkansas Online, "Full-count census doubts linger," 8 Dec. 2019 The most important thing for any changes in Québec will be to ensure that the new rules do not harm women in the legislature, but instead gives them the freedom to dress in a way that doesn’t reduce them to their gender identity. Arnaud Montreuil, Quartz at Work, "Is the world ready for politicians to dress in workplace casual?," 20 Nov. 2019 Sure, voters approved the constitutional changes recommended by their legislature, Hunter said, but the state constitution has always had a two-stage process for amendments to slow down changes and encourage more social stability. NBC News, "Gerrymandering case could lead to laws invalidated, criminals freed, N. Carolina GOP warns," 31 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for legislature

Time Traveler

The first known use of legislature was circa 1676

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Statistics for legislature

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legislature.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legislature. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for legislature


How to pronounce legislature (audio)

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 How to pronounce legislature (audio) \

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 How to pronounce legislature (audio) \

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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Comments on legislature

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


to express in a more acceptable way

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