Definition of legislate in English:



  • 1no object Make or enact laws.

    ‘they legislated against discrimination in the workplace’
    • ‘That is what we mean when we say the States cannot legislate about these matters in federal jurisdiction.’
    • ‘In Australia, the situation differs significantly as several jurisdictions have already legislated to prohibit the removal, storage and use of sperm from a man who is dying or has died.’
    • ‘More and more, courts in both the United States and Europe are legislating from the bench.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that the Parliament could so legislate, constitutional protections aside.’
    • ‘The argument also fails to recognise that Parliament can legislate in breach of the rules of international law.’
    • ‘Otherwise, the Commonwealth could always legislate to say certain categories of State legislation are prohibited.’
    • ‘He is attempting to pack the courts with zealots and activists who are not impartial and who will legislate from the bench.’
    • ‘Other forms of delegated legislation include the power of ministers to legislate by Order in Council and for local authorities to make by-laws.’
    • ‘The National Government explicitly declined to legislate in order to overturn that precedent.’
    • ‘On this basis, Herron announced that the government would legislate to authorise construction of the bridge.’
    • ‘And it will mean legislating to end age discrimination at work.’
    • ‘For safety reasons the city authorities should legislate to make it compulsory that a paying passenger should also be given a helmet.’
    • ‘They are applicable because this is an area that the Commonwealth is entitled to legislate in, clearly, and has legislated in.’
    • ‘Only a few governments, such as New Zealand's, have legislated specifically for sustainable development.’
    • ‘Parliament has legislated that they are not be treated as a class but as individuals.’
    • ‘It makes good sense, however, to include as many species as possible when legislating in order to control contagious livestock diseases.’
    • ‘That principle places limitations on the power of Parliament to legislate to abrogate or undermine those fundamental rules.’
    • ‘In particular they should not be used to legislate.’
    • ‘The Commonwealth, in the Judiciary Act provisions, has also legislated in relation to legal practitioners in federal jurisdiction.’
    • ‘See also Glenn Reynolds' comments on Congress' lack of Constitutional authority to legislate in this area.’
    make laws, pass laws, enact laws, formulate laws, establish laws, codify laws, ratify laws, constitutionalize, put laws in force
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    1. 1.1with object Bring about by making or enacting laws.
      ‘constitutional changes will be legislated’
      • ‘Using this model, the Court determined that Article 10 was violated when Austria legislated a public monopoly on broadcasting.’
      • ‘What I am saying is that if, for example, the State legislates abolishment of trial by jury, the Commonwealth will not allow to this, but that is inconsistent with the Commonwealth law.’
      • ‘Although Living Wills have been legislated through federal law, it has been left to each state to develop requirements for interpreting and implementing these documents.’
      • ‘Since circumstances constantly change, laws cannot be legislated to cover every possible case.’
      • ‘The court arguably has implemented reforms that would have been better legislated by Congress, and without the balance that a Congressional debate would have facilitated.’
      • ‘The stores are reacting to the more than 30 states that already legislate such restrictions or have laws pending.’
      • ‘The book's title alludes to an anti-Semitic law legislated by Frederick II of Prussia that every Jew at marriage had to purchase a surplus of goods from the royal china factory.’
      • ‘It would be obviously improper for the Justices to legislate specific rules about what is private versus what is public.’
      • ‘Trying to legislate a policy for something that doesn't yet exist would run up against all sorts of problems.’
      • ‘The greatest enemy is government, which has historically legislated privileges or restrictions based on gender.’
      • ‘If the right to recall is legislated to become a law of the land, it can have a very sobering effect on our politicians; many of them take the voter for granted.’
      • ‘By doing so and legislating the Qassas laws, the post-revolutionary state endowed fathers with the undisputed right of life and death over their children.’
      • ‘Although the position is not legislated at the moment, it has been appointed by the Chief of the Defence Force.’
      • ‘The federal government has the exclusive right to legislate copyright law.’
      • ‘She asked Congress on Saturday to legislate stiff punishments for illegal loggers, stopping short of calling for the death penalty.’
      • ‘That's because their job is to apply the law, not legislate it.’
      • ‘Then, in typical left-wing fashion, the Government, having legislated one piece of nonsense, has to legislate another to fix it.’
      • ‘So in the first instance, I say to members opposite that, instead of turning this into a race issue, they should acknowledge that this Parliament legislated different laws.’
      • ‘Welcoming the government's decision, local human rights activists said there is no urgency to legislate the proposed law.’
      • ‘The position is that the articles have legislated a particular set of sanctions, namely, that a transfer which does not comply with the article is void.’
  • 2legislate for/againstProvide or prepare for (an occurrence)

    ‘you cannot legislate for bad luck like that’
    • ‘But even as a hero of the campaign to end American involvement in Vietnam, he was never a natural radical or a peacenik; his background and his neat haircut legislated against that.’
    • ‘As far as former miner Terry Regan is concerned, you cannot legislate for human instinct when someone is breaking into your home.’
    • ‘I could list many more places where it is fair to expect smokers to consider others but you can not legislate for people's rudeness or lack of consideration.’
    • ‘There's no way we can legislate for that but we we must be on guard.’
    • ‘There are a number of ways that waste prevention can be encouraged and legislated for.’
    • ‘Brebner says the number of last-minute goals has been unacceptable but says it is hard to legislate for individual mistakes.’
    • ‘Was it reasonable to have expected the council to have foreseen such fearsome weather and legislated for it?’
    • ‘There are those who will tell you, of course, that you cannot enforce equality or legislate for human nature.’
    • ‘It's great when you've got a squad of players available for work every week, but some injuries you can't legislate for.’
    • ‘The problem with conceding territory and allowing the other side to play in front of you is that it cannot legislate for crazy errors.’
    • ‘He said a safety audit of the bridge design was carried out in the planning stage but this was a public structure and no one could legislate for every event.’
    • ‘The light going on didn't wake me up though, as I had wisely legislated for it by drinking far too much wine.’
    • ‘To spend so much for the sake of legislating against a minority doing something they never did is, to my effete southern mind, perverse.’
    • ‘For once you start legislating against the falsification of history, where do you stop?’
    • ‘A lifestyle revolution, rather than a Marxist one, is required, and that is something that cannot be legislated for.’
    • ‘If we encourage our citizens to travel across Europe we should be prepared to legislate for their safety.’
    • ‘As for the replicas, Mr Sykes may be right when he says you can't legislate for idiots who cause problems.’
    • ‘You can legislate for situations but not for emotions.’
    • ‘But I think this is all about a clash of personalities, and you can't legislate for that.’
    • ‘There may be indeed be little that politicians can do to actively legislate for civic virtue but there are enormous harms that politicians could stop doing.’


Early 18th century: back-formation from legislation.