legacy

noun
leg·​a·​cy | \ ˈle-gə-sē How to pronounce legacy (audio) \
plural legacies

Definition of legacy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest She left us a legacy of a million dollars.
2 : something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past the legacy of the ancient philosophers The war left a legacy of pain and suffering.
3 : a candidate for membership in an organization (such as a school or fraternal order) who is given special status because of a familial relationship to a member Legacies, or children of alumni, are three times more likely to be accepted to Harvard than other high school graduates with the same (sometimes better) scores …— Michael Lind

legacy

adjective

Definition of legacy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being a previous or outdated computer system transfer the legacy data a legacy system
2 : of, relating to, associated with, or carried over from an earlier time, technology, business, etc. And it is about more than just TV—newspapers, magazines, radio, all the "legacy" media are feeling the earth move beneath them. Journalists look out and see thousands of empty campus TV lounges and newsprint-less recycling bins and millions of iPads and smart phones and they wonder what's coming next.— Dante Chinni Following ISG's takeover, 100,000 Bethlehem retirees and their dependents also lost their medical coverage, and they will get only a fraction of their original pension benefits. Avoiding those expenses, known as legacy costs, will save ISG more than $400 million a year.— Nelson D. Schwartz

Did you know?

In its basic meaning, a legacy is a gift of money or other personal property that's granted by the terms of a will—often a substantial gift that needs to be properly managed. But the word is used much more broadly as well. So, for instance, much of Western civilization—law, philosophy, aesthetics— could be called the undying legacy of ancient Greece. And the rights and opportunities that women enjoy today are partly the legacy of the early suffragists and feminists.

Examples of legacy in a Sentence

Noun She left us a legacy of a million dollars. He left his children a legacy of love and respect. The war left a legacy of pain and suffering. Her artistic legacy lives on through her children.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It’s that age-old question of embracing your legacy or turning away from it. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 May 2022 But his legacy lives on: The museum celebrates a quarter century this summer with this show of 90 collages by Carle and other icons including Leo Lionni, alongside a new generation of collagists like Ekua Holmes and Thao Lam. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 The longtime coach left an indelible impression on many people in the community as a couple of hundred people assembled at the park to honor his legacy. Emmett Hall, Sun Sentinel, 20 May 2022 All-Big Ten honors twice, but his biggest legacy may have been his friendship with eight-year-old Lacey Holsworth, who fought cancer during Michigan State's 2013/14 season. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 10 May 2022 To the boundary-breaking mothers who walk in their purpose and take up space in this world, our legacy is because of you! Admin, Essence, 10 May 2022 The mantle of the Judds has always been uneasy for Wy to carry, since Naomi was the one who willed the duo into existence, but now, the Judds’ legacy is firmly in Wynonna’s hands. Hunter Kelly, Rolling Stone, 2 May 2022 This year’s Victoria & Albert collection is a thoughtful culmination, paying homage to a queen and a prince, married in 1840, whose legacy is significant. Nancy Olson, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 That legacy is a lot to live up to, for any performer. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective According to findings from Gartner, by 2023, 30% of large enterprises will be using AIOps to monitor the non-legacy segments of their IT estates. Archana Jain, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 The donations boycott is designed to build on past anti-legacy efforts. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Sep. 2021 Legacy outdoor companies like Patagonia are selling food now, as are upstart outfits like Good to-Go, a Maine company that Jennifer Scism, 52, a chef and former partner at the acclaimed New York restaurant Annisa, started in 2014. Kim Severson, New York Times, 26 June 2017 Legacy coach Christopher Word isn’t at all surprised by Powers’ success. Shawn Smajstrla, star-telegram, 21 June 2017 Legacy students whose parents are alumni and who contribute a lot of money to the college? Gerald Bradshaw, Post-Tribune, 10 May 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of legacy

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1984, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for legacy

Noun

Middle English legacie office of a legate, bequest, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, office of a legate, from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus

Adjective

from attributive use of legacy entry 1

Learn More About legacy

Time Traveler for legacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of legacy was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near legacy

leg

legacy

legacy by damnation

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Statistics for legacy

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Legacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legacy. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for legacy

legacy

noun
leg·​a·​cy | \ ˈle-gə-sē How to pronounce legacy (audio) \
plural legacies

Kids Definition of legacy

1 : property (as money) left to a person by a will
2 : something (as memories or knowledge) that comes from the past or a person of the past the poet's legacy

legacy

noun
leg·​a·​cy | \ ˈle-gə-sē How to pronounce legacy (audio) \
plural legacies

Legal Definition of legacy

: a gift of property by will specifically : a gift of personal property by will : bequest — see also ademption — compare devise
conjoint legacy
in the civil law of Louisiana : a legacy by a single disposition to more than one legatee or of indivisible property to more than one legatee
demonstrative legacy \ di-​ˈmän-​strə-​tiv-​ \
: a legacy payable from a designated fund or asset or from the general assets of the estate to the extent the specified fund or asset fails to satisfy the legacy
general legacy
: a legacy payable out of the general assets of the estate
legacy under a universal title
in the civil law of Louisiana : a legacy that consists of a specified proportion (as one-half), a specified type (as movables), or a specified proportion of a specified type of the testator's property
particular legacy
in the civil law of Louisiana : any legacy that is not a universal legacy or a legacy under a universal title

called also legacy under particular title

residuary legacy
: a legacy that consists of all of the testator's estate which has not been distributed through other legacies or charges upon the estate
specific legacy
: a legacy payable only from a specific fund or asset in the estate
universal legacy
in the civil law of Louisiana : a legacy by which a testator gives to one or more legatees all of his or her property at the time of death

History and Etymology for legacy

Medieval Latin legatio, from Latin legare to bequeath

More from Merriam-Webster on legacy

Nglish: Translation of legacy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legacy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about legacy

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