verb (used without object), leg·is·lat·ed, leg·is·lat·ing.

to exercise the function of legislation; make or enact laws.

verb (used with object), leg·is·lat·ed, leg·is·lat·ing.

to create, provide, or control by legislation: attempts to legislate morality.

Origin of legislate

First recorded in 1710–20; back formation from legislation, legislator
Related formso·ver·leg·is·late, verb, o·ver·leg·is·lat·ed, o·ver·leg·is·lat·ing.qua·si-leg·is·lat·ed, adjectiveun·leg·is·lat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for legislate

enact, constitute, pass

Examples from the Web for legislate

Contemporary Examples of legislate

Historical Examples of legislate

  • But it is impossible to legislate for every individual case.

  • And for this reason, I said, I shall not attempt to legislate further about them.

  • Now the voluntary cannot be the involuntary; and if you two come to me and say, 'Then shall we legislate for our city?'



  • And now, let us proceed to legislate with a view to perfecting the form and outline of our state.



  • The result is that you cannot legislate about them, and still less can you be silent.



British Dictionary definitions for legislate



(intr) to make or pass laws
(tr) to bring into effect by legislation

Word Origin for legislate

C18: back formation from legislator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for legislate

1805, back-formation from legislation, etc. Related: Legislated; legislating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper