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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for illegitimacy



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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 by the time Emily stood on the football field in a sparkling silver dress waiting to accept her crown, whispers had already begun spreading among the student body about the illegitimacy of her victory. Sarah Midkiff,, "A Florida Mother & Daughter Were Arrested For Rigging A High School Homecoming Election," 17 Mar. 2021 Republicans have said that Leahy's role underscores the illegitimacy of putting a former president on trial in the Senate, which is not addressed in the Constitution. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Senate set for unprecedented impeachment trial of Trump," 4 Feb. 2021 This year’s pronouncements arrive shadowed by melancholy and, even more than usual, a vague illegitimacy. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "My Favorite Fiction of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 This may persist in the perception that the Biden administration is now continually under the cloud of illegitimacy. WSJ, "Barr and the Perception of Electoral Fairness," 11 Dec. 2020 The Democrats sought to fire up their voters by highlighting the illegitimacy of the process. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "Dianne Feinstein’s Missteps Raise a Painful Age Question Among Senate Democrats," 10 Dec. 2020 Throughout James Smithson’s life, his illegitimacy lingered like a bad stain that nothing could wash away. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘The Science of James Smithson’ Review: Unsung Founder," 23 Oct. 2020 Ackerman said this was because of the illegitimacy of the Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore, which ended the 2000 election in Bush's favor. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "The Supreme Court fight of our lives," 24 Sep. 2020 Second, ballot harvesting creates an environment for potential fraud and election illegitimacy. Justin Clark, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Democrats’ last-minute, all mail-ballot reform would compromise the 2020 election," 21 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of illegitimacy

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for illegitimacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of illegitimacy was in 1680

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Statistics for illegitimacy

Last Updated

28 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Illegitimacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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

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