illegitimacy

noun
il·le·git·i·ma·cy | \ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mə-sē \

Definition of illegitimacy 

1 : the quality or state of being illegitimate

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

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 In 1983, Washington and Moscow took steps that heightened the uncertainty, darkly hinting at each other’s illegitimacy and threats of massive retaliation, in a contest for nuclear supremacy, and survival. Max Fisher, The Seattle Times, "Hawaii false alarm hints at thin line between mishap and nuclear war," 14 Jan. 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.

See More

First Known Use of illegitimacy

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about illegitimacy

Share illegitimacy

Statistics for illegitimacy

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for illegitimacy

The first known use of illegitimacy was in 1680

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for illegitimacy

illegitimacy

noun
il·le·git·i·ma·cy | \ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mə-sē \

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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