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


bar sinister, bastardy, spuriousness



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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 either way, the cloud of illegitimacy hanging over Kavanaugh’s head will be helpful in waking the public from its slumber. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court — and that’s good," 5 Oct. 2018 Systems with elements of proportional representation, such as that sought by reformers of the electoral college or House districts, not only provide bulwarks against charges of illegitimacy. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 Calderón, also facing charges of illegitimacy from the left, deployed Mexico’s federal forces en masse and captured and killed dozens of kingpins. Benjamin Lessing, Washington Post, "Brazil’s federal intervention in Rio’s drug wars has an authoritarian feel — and could backfire," 2 Mar. 2018 The wider disbelief morphed into anger and wild theories to explain or create the illegitimacy of the 45th president. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "GOP-leaning religious believers overlook Trump’s moral lapses," 26 Apr. 2018 The only real solution to structural illegitimacy that will adequately protect these immigrants is comprehensive reform with a path to citizenship. Helen Thorpe, New York Times, "Meet the Dreamers Who Walked 1,500 Miles to Stay in America," 4 Apr. 2018 Washington state’s chairwoman, Tina Podlodowski, said any system that leaves unpledged superdelegates in place would expose the 2020 nominee to charges of illegitimacy, fair or not. Washington Post, "Dems pledge to limit superdelegates, but don’t say how," 10 Mar. 2018 What if we were born today — when society allows unwed mothers greater latitude to choose to raise their children, when the stigma of illegitimacy has subsided? Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Like a generation of women, my unwed birth mother kept a lifelong secret: Me," 8 Mar. 2018 Carnival krewes took their political arguments to the streets and manipulated their festive displays to provide evidence of the illegitimacy and incongruity of black citizenship. Frederick Staidum Jr., The Root, "Robert E. Lee Beads Bring Mardi Gras’ Historic Racism Full Circle," 17 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for illegitimacy

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Time Traveler for illegitimacy

The first known use of illegitimacy was in 1680

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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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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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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