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

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 That’s better than a conversation about the potential illegitimacy of overturning longstanding precedent allowing reproductive choice. New York Times, 3 May 2022 Xi is challenging that primacy of liberal ideals, which automatically casts a dark shadow of illegitimacy over his oppressive regime. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 14 Dec. 2021 Despite the onus of his illegitimacy, Smithson prospered as a chemist and mineralogist. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Aug. 2021 There is also evidence that people’s views about the legitimacy—or illegitimacy—of law enforcement may influence their willingness to carry and thus use guns even more than concerns about being stopped by the police or victimized themselves. John Pfaff, The New Republic, 21 June 2021 His lies about the election took root in fertile soil among conservatives, nurturing grievances about their counter-majoritarian status in American politics and amplifying their rhetoric about Democrats’ supposed electoral illegitimacy. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 1 June 2021 Laws preventing adoptees from accessing their birth certificates were designed to protect both the birth parent and the child from stigma of illegitimacy. Daniela Altimari,, 31 May 2021 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,, 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, 4 Feb. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of illegitimacy

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of illegitimacy was in 1680

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Illegitimacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on illegitimacy

Nglish: Translation of illegitimacy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about illegitimacy


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