le·​gal·​i·​ty | \li-ˈga-lə-tē \
plural legalities

Definition of legality 

1 : attachment to or observance of law

2 : the quality or state of being legal : lawfulness

3 legalities plural : obligations imposed by law

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Examples of legality in a Sentence

the senator questioned the legality of the proposed espionage operation

Recent Examples on the Web

The point, however, is that in a normal administration, the question of legality would simply never arise here. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Matthew Whitaker’s appointment is the latest Trump tax the GOP is paying," 11 Nov. 2018 The Justice Department defended the legality of Mr. Whitaker’s appointment on Wednesday, issuing a legal opinion saying that U.S. presidents throughout history had installed officials as temporary cabinet members without Senate approval. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Castigates Mueller Investigation as ‘Disgrace to Nation’," 15 Nov. 2018 So leaving aside the legality of it, this is good, important journalism. Eric Johnson, Recode, "It may be ‘data journalism,’ but Julia Angwin’s new site the Markup is nothing like FiveThirtyEight," 27 Sep. 2018 Recently, one of my good friends went on a trip to Colorado and fully embraced the state’s legality of recreational marijuana. Lindsey Unterberger, Glamour, "I Replaced My Entire Beauty Routine With Only CBD Products," 14 Aug. 2018 The legality of the proposals, however, was questioned by City Attorney Mara Elliott, who unsuccessfully sued to strike both initiatives from the ballot. Jennifer Van Grove,, "SoccerCity continues legal action against SDSU West," 13 July 2018 What’s the legality of flying balloons into a different nation's airspace? Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 2018 The remaining properties are tied up in litigation or other legalities. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Barber shops, real estate seized from drug ring auctioned for $1.4 million," 11 July 2018 San Francisco officials have maintained that the legality of Hetch Hetchy has long been settled and that the water supply has become indispensable for the region. Kurtis Alexander,, "Appeals court rejects effort to tear down Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir," 10 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for legality

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for legality

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

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More Definitions for legality


le·​gal·​i·​ty | \li-ˈga-lə-tē \
plural legalities

Legal Definition of legality 

1 : attachment to or observance of law

2 : the quality or state of being legal : lawfulness

3  plural : obligations imposed by law

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on legality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with legality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for legality

Spanish Central: Translation of legality

Nglish: Translation of legality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legality for Arabic Speakers

Comments on legality

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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