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

The governor and 'the governator' Holcomb; his wife, Janet; and other leaders from the state legislature and business community then visited Austria. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "5 quirky highlights from Gov. Eric Holcomb's Europe trip," 24 May 2018 But this has been a banner year for anti-gerrymandering ballot initiatives which bypass governors and legislatures and their party allegiances. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 From the notebook *Watering the infield: Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker’s campaign spread $2.5 million late last week to campaign coffers aimed at helping Democrats in the legislature and Cook County. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Morning Spin: McCarthy says Dan Ryan protest shows change since 2012 NATO summit," 9 July 2018 Both the state legislature and the U.S. Congress were required to approve Virginia's split back in 1863, the last time an American state was divided. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Remove three Californias plan from the ballot, opponents ask state Supreme Court," 9 July 2018 The bill, passed today by the state’s legislature and quickly signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, affects all companies that do business in the state and collect data. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "California Passes Groundbreaking Consumer Protection Act with Fines for Violations," 29 June 2018 That same year, there were more than 120 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced to state legislatures, and the Trump administration rescinded certain LGBTQ+ protections. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Millie Bobby Brown's Photos Have Been Made Into an Anti-Gay Meme," 14 June 2018 But most policy decisions have fallen to state legislatures and industry-friendly governors. Betsy Morais, Longreads, "The Menace and the Promise of Autonomous Vehicles," 13 June 2018 Democratic Advantages Democrats also hold New Jersey’s governor’s office and legislature, and 55 percent of voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Terrence Dopp, Bloomberg.com, "Menendez’s Grip on Senate Seat Loosens After Punishing New Jersey Primary," 6 June 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

1 Sep 2018

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on legislature

Spanish Central: Translation of legislature

Nglish: Translation of legislature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legislature for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about legislature

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