illegitimate

adjective
il·​le·​git·​i·​mate | \ ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mət How to pronounce illegitimate (audio) \

Definition of illegitimate

1a : not recognized as lawful offspring
b : born of parents not married to each other
2a : not sanctioned by law : illegal
b : not authorized by good usage
c of a taxon : published but not in accordance with the rules of the relevant international code
3 : not rightly deduced or inferred : illogical
4 : departing from the regular : erratic

Other Words from illegitimate

illegitimately adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for illegitimate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of illegitimate in a Sentence

She thinks that my concerns are illegitimate. They were fired from their jobs for illegitimate reasons.
Recent Examples on the Web Both refused to participate, saying the Jan. 6 select committee is illegitimate. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2022 Even if all those ballots proved to be illegitimate, that would be nowhere near enough votes to swing the election to Trump. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Jan. 2022 Such misinformation ultimately threatens democracy itself, since many Trump supporters now believe that elections are inherently corrupt and any Democratic win is illegitimate. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 Underlying it all is the lie the former president and his allies first began seeding in the months leading up to his loss in November 2020: that the election was illegitimate. Arit John, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Jan. 2022 Underlying it all is the lie the former president and his allies first began seeding in the months leading up to his loss in November 2020: that the election was illegitimate. Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2022 Ipsos poll released this week found that seven in 10 Republicans agree with Trump’s false contention that Biden’s victory was illegitimate. Rick Klein, ABC News, 5 Jan. 2022 In April, the Washington State Auditor's Office found that nearly $647 million in illegitimate claims were paid in 2020. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 10 June 2021 Just as pro-slavery Southerners refused to accept Lincoln as their President after the election of 1860, millions of Americans have been convinced by Trump and the social-media swamp that Biden’s Presidency is illegitimate. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illegitimate.' 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 illegitimate

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for illegitimate

Time Traveler

The first known use of illegitimate was in 1536

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Dictionary Entries Near illegitimate

illegitimacy

illegitimate

illegitimation

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Statistics for illegitimate

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Illegitimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegitimate. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for illegitimate

illegitimate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of illegitimate

: born to a father and mother who are not married
: not allowed according to rules or laws
: not reasonable or fair

illegitimate

adjective
il·​le·​git·​i·​mate | \ ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mət How to pronounce illegitimate (audio) \

Kids Definition of illegitimate

: not accepted by the law as rightful an illegitimate ruler

illegitimate

adjective
il·​le·​git·​i·​mate | \ ˌi-li-ˈji-tə-mət How to pronounce illegitimate (audio) \

Legal Definition of illegitimate

1 : not recognized by the law as offspring specifically : born out of marriage

Note: An illegitimate child is usually legitimated by his or her parents' later marriage. Illegitimate children generally have the same inheritance rights under intestate successions as legitimate children; statutes limiting their inheritance rights have been found to violate the equal protection clause.

2 : not valid according to law

Other Words from illegitimate

illegitimate noun

More from Merriam-Webster on illegitimate

Nglish: Translation of illegitimate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of illegitimate for Arabic Speakers

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