"a lawgiver, a maker of laws," c. 1600, from Latin legis lator "proposer of a law," from legis, genitive of lex "law" (see legal (adj.)) + lator "proposer," agent noun of lātus "borne, brought, carried" (see oblate (n.)), which was used as past tense of ferre "to carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."). In U.S., generally a member of a state, territorial, or colonial legislature. Fem. form legislatrix is from 1670s; legislatress from 1711. Related: Legislatorial.