il·​le·​git·​i·​ma·​cy | \ ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mə-sē How to pronounce illegitimacy (audio) \

Definition of illegitimacy

1 : the quality or state of being illegitimate

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for illegitimacy



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of illegitimacy in a Sentence

she had learned of her illegitimacy while rummaging through old family records in the attic
Recent Examples on the Web But deciding to forgo witnesses (even when one, former national security adviser John Bolton, seems to have enough pertinent information to literally write a book) only fuels more feelings of illegitimacy for the upcoming presidential elections. Time, "What Happens Next with America’s Electoral Legitimacy," 8 Feb. 2020 If Trump were actually convicted, the 2020 election would proceed under a cloud of illegitimacy. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Removal Would Be Insane," 24 Jan. 2020 The prevailing theme of the anti-Trumpism herd being his illegitimacy and incompetency. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Trump’s “privilege” mistake; Synthetic outrage fuels the left (12/5/19)," 5 Dec. 2019 The government cannot pass judgment upon or presuppose the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices. Tara Law, Time, "9 Landmark Supreme Court Cases That Shaped LGBTQ Rights in America," 8 Oct. 2019 Inside casinos and racetracks and increasingly on mobile phones bettors can back their favorite teams with a few dollars — and do it without the shadow of illegitimacy the activity had in the past. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Mattress Mack bets big as sports betting spreads," 7 Oct. 2019 The word coup, which by definition carries the connotation of illegitimacy, has a long history of being politicized, not only in the United States. Washington Post, "Trump called impeachment a ‘coup.’ Here’s why past U.S. officials have avoided the word.," 2 Oct. 2019 Week 4 will prove the legitimacy or illegitimacy of Sherwood’s contender status. oregonlive, "Oregon HS football: 6 teams can win the 6A state championship (Commentary)," 27 Sep. 2019 Other female actors tried to downplay their children’s illegitimacy; Bernhardt asserted her status as a single mother. Sharon Marcus, Vox, "The first modern celebrity was born 175 years ago," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illegitimacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of illegitimacy

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about illegitimacy

Time Traveler for illegitimacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of illegitimacy was in 1680

See more words from the same year

Statistics for illegitimacy

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Illegitimacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for illegitimacy


il·​le·​git·​i·​ma·​cy | \ ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mə-sē How to pronounce illegitimacy (audio) \

Legal Definition of illegitimacy

: the quality or state of being illegitimate

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on illegitimacy

What made you want to look up illegitimacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!