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.

Nearby words

  1. legionella pneumophilia,
  2. legionnaire,
  3. legionnaire's disease,
  4. legionnaires' disease,
  5. legis.,
  6. legislation,
  7. legislative,
  8. legislative assembly,
  9. legislative branch,
  10. legislative council

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

Examples from the Web for legislate

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