illegitimate

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

Definition of illegitimate

1 : not recognized as lawful offspring specifically : 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

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Other Words from illegitimate

illegitimately adverb

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 Listen to hear our explanation of why that is not an illegitimate question. Chris Quinn, Editor, cleveland, "Questions about Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s long-running investigation into Cuyahoga County government: A BONUS episode of This Week in the CLE," 11 Jan. 2020 At the heart of the issue is the November presidential election, with Bremmer predicting that many Americans will view the results as illegitimate no matter the outcome. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Top global risk in 2020? It's American politics, experts say," 6 Jan. 2020 But his boss, President Donald Trump, does not deem China’s rulers illegitimate. The Economist, "Chaguan Communism is not what worries the world about China’s Communist Party," 18 Dec. 2019 The rest were the owners and operators of 10 different illegitimate supply companies: Jorge Flores, 45, of Delray Beach, Earron Starks, 49, and Carlicha Starks, 40, both of Hallandale Beach; and Robert Kozak, 73, of Boca Raton. Mario Ariza, sun-sentinel.com, "VA employees in South Florida took bribes and misused credit cards, feds say," 11 Dec. 2019 Her description of the well-to-do TV families of the 1980s could apply equally to Succession: The plot focuses entirely on an upper class family, their spouses, business rivals, or illegitimate relations. Farah Mohammed, Quartzy, "“Succession” and the allure of the millionaire family drama," 12 Nov. 2019 As Schiff works behind closed doors to build the case, Republicans accuse Democrats of waging an unfair — and according to the White House, illegitimate — investigation. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Schiff, a longtime prosecutor, angers GOP in impeachment," 18 Oct. 2019 The legislature, led by Maduro's opposition, declared that the election had been illegitimate and named legislative leader Guaidó the nation's new president. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s lawyer and the Venezuelan president: How Giuliani got involved in back-channel talks with Maduro," 29 Dec. 2019 The legislature, led by Maduro’s opposition, declared that the election had been illegitimate and named legislative leader Guaidó the nation’s new president. Washington Post, "Trump’s lawyer and the Venezuelan president: How Giuliani got involved in back-channel talks with Maduro," 29 Dec. 2019

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 1

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Time Traveler for illegitimate

Time Traveler

The first known use of illegitimate was in 1536

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Statistics for illegitimate

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Illegitimate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegitimate. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for illegitimate

illegitimate

adjective
How to pronounce illegitimate (audio)

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

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