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.

Nearby words

  1. legislative council,
  2. legislative veto,
  3. legislator,
  4. legislatorial,
  5. legislatrix,
  6. legist,
  7. legit,
  8. legitim,
  9. legitimacy,
  10. legitimate

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for legislatures

British Dictionary definitions for legislatures



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



1670s; see legislator + -ure.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper