Definition of legislate in English:



  • 1no object Make or enact laws.

    ‘they legislated against discrimination in the workplace’
    • ‘It makes good sense, however, to include as many species as possible when legislating in order to control contagious livestock diseases.’
    • ‘Parliament has legislated that they are not be treated as a class but as individuals.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that the Parliament could so legislate, constitutional protections aside.’
    • ‘And it will mean legislating to end age discrimination at work.’
    • ‘He is attempting to pack the courts with zealots and activists who are not impartial and who will legislate from the bench.’
    • ‘On this basis, Herron announced that the government would legislate to authorise construction of the bridge.’
    • ‘For safety reasons the city authorities should legislate to make it compulsory that a paying passenger should also be given a helmet.’
    • ‘Otherwise, the Commonwealth could always legislate to say certain categories of State legislation are prohibited.’
    • ‘That is what we mean when we say the States cannot legislate about these matters in federal jurisdiction.’
    • ‘More and more, courts in both the United States and Europe are legislating from the bench.’
    • ‘The National Government explicitly declined to legislate in order to overturn that precedent.’
    • ‘That principle places limitations on the power of Parliament to legislate to abrogate or undermine those fundamental rules.’
    • ‘The argument also fails to recognise that Parliament can legislate in breach of the rules of international law.’
    • ‘Only a few governments, such as New Zealand's, have legislated specifically for sustainable development.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Other forms of delegated legislation include the power of ministers to legislate by Order in Council and for local authorities to make by-laws.’
    • ‘See also Glenn Reynolds' comments on Congress' lack of Constitutional authority to legislate in this area.’
    • ‘They are applicable because this is an area that the Commonwealth is entitled to legislate in, clearly, and has legislated in.’
    make laws, pass laws, enact laws, formulate laws, establish laws, codify laws, ratify laws, constitutionalize, put laws in force
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Bring about by making or enacting laws.
      ‘constitutional changes will be legislated’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Trying to legislate a policy for something that doesn't yet exist would run up against all sorts of problems.’
      • ‘It would be obviously improper for the Justices to legislate specific rules about what is private versus what is public.’
      • ‘The greatest enemy is government, which has historically legislated privileges or restrictions based on gender.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Using this model, the Court determined that Article 10 was violated when Austria legislated a public monopoly on broadcasting.’
      • ‘Then, in typical left-wing fashion, the Government, having legislated one piece of nonsense, has to legislate another to fix it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although the position is not legislated at the moment, it has been appointed by the Chief of the Defence Force.’
      • ‘Welcoming the government's decision, local human rights activists said there is no urgency to legislate the proposed 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 stores are reacting to the more than 30 states that already legislate such restrictions or have laws pending.’
      • ‘The federal government has the exclusive right to legislate copyright law.’
  • 2legislate for/againstProvide or prepare for (an occurrence)

    ‘you cannot legislate for bad luck like that’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are a number of ways that waste prevention can be encouraged and legislated for.’
    • ‘There are those who will tell you, of course, that you cannot enforce equality or legislate for human nature.’
    • ‘As for the replicas, Mr Sykes may be right when he says you can't legislate for idiots who cause problems.’
    • ‘As far as former miner Terry Regan is concerned, you cannot legislate for human instinct when someone is breaking into your home.’
    • ‘Was it reasonable to have expected the council to have foreseen such fearsome weather and legislated for it?’
    • ‘If we encourage our citizens to travel across Europe we should be prepared to legislate for their safety.’
    • ‘Brebner says the number of last-minute goals has been unacceptable but says it is hard to legislate for individual mistakes.’
    • ‘A lifestyle revolution, rather than a Marxist one, is required, and that is something that cannot be legislated 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.’
    • ‘There's no way we can legislate for that but we we must be on guard.’
    • ‘It's great when you've got a squad of players available for work every week, but some injuries you can't legislate for.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can legislate for situations but not for emotions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But I think this is all about a clash of personalities, and you can't legislate for that.’
    • ‘For once you start legislating against the falsification of history, where do you stop?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Early 18th century: back-formation from legislation.