adjective \li-ˈji-tə-mət\

: allowed according to rules or laws

: real, accepted, or official

: fair or reasonable

Full Definition of LEGITIMATE

a :  lawfully begotten; specifically :  born in wedlock
b :  having full filial rights and obligations by birth <a legitimate child>
:  being exactly as purposed :  neither spurious nor false <a legitimate grievance> <a legitimate practitioner>
a :  accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements <a legitimate government>
b :  ruling by or based on the strict principle of hereditary right <a legitimate king>
:  conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards <a legitimate advertising expenditure> <a legitimate inference>
:  relating to plays acted by professional actors but not including revues, burlesque, or some forms of musical comedy <the legitimate theater>
le·git·i·mate·ly adverb

Examples of LEGITIMATE

  1. legitimate means for achieving success
  2. the legitimate use of firearms
  3. There's no legitimate reason for prescribing this medication to a child.
  4. Law books were getting thicker by the week with Supreme Court decisions barring legitimate claims because they weren't timely filed. —John Grisham, The Chamber, 1995


Middle English legitimat, from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare to legitimate, from Latin legitimus legitimate, from leg-, lex law
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


verb \li-ˈji-tə-ˌmāt\

: to make (something) real, accepted, or official

: to show that (something or someone) is fair or reasonable


Full Definition of LEGITIMATE

transitive verb
:  to make (someone or something) legitimate (see 1legitimate):
a (1) :  to give legal status or authorization to
(2) :  to show or affirm to be justified (3) :  to lend authority or respectability to
b :  to give (a child born out of wedlock) the same legal status as a child born in wedlock
le·git·i·ma·tion \li-ˌji-tə-ˈmā-shən\ noun
le·git·i·mat·or \li-ˈji-tə-ˌmā-tər\ noun

Examples of LEGITIMATE

  1. slang words legitimated by usage
  2. Her tendency to be secretive only serves to legitimate their suspicions.
  3. Poland has ceased being a nation with even a pretense of Communist rule, a rule that is legitimated by Marxist ideology. —Irving Kristol, Wall Street Journal, 11 Jan. 1982


(see 1legitimate)
First Known Use: 1531

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Rhymes with LEGITIMATE

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate


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