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  1. a deliberative body of persons, usually elective, who are empowered to make, change, or repeal the laws of a country or state; the branch of government having the power to make laws, as distinguished from the executive and judicial branches of government.
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Origin of legislature

First recorded in 1670–80; legislat(or) + -ure
Related formssub·leg·is·la·ture, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for legislature


  1. a body of persons vested with power to make, amend, and repeal lawsCompare executive, judiciary
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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 legislature


1670s; see legislator + -ure.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper