le·​gal·​i·​ty | \ li-ˈga-lə-tē How to pronounce legality (audio) \
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 judges who have been confirmed will also likely serve for decades and play a pivotal role in decisions weighing everything from the preservation of DACA protections to the legality of voter suppression tactics. Li Zhou, Vox, "Trump has gotten 66 judges confirmed this year. In his second year, Obama had gotten 49.," 27 Dec. 2018 Even though the [Israel Defense Forces] defended the legality of using live fire against protests at a High Court challenge ... the larger question goes beyond what may be legal, to what may be in Israel’s best interests. Monitor Editors, The Christian Science Monitor, "After clashes with Palestinians, Israelis must reach out to Gazans," 26 May 2018 But the court did not rule on the legality of the Congo proceedings, and Glencore’s assets there remain frozen—at least until another hearing on May 11th. The Economist, "Glencore, a hard-slugging mining giant, meets its match in Congo," 3 May 2018 But there were questions about the legality of owning an armored military vehicle. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Tank That's Tougher Than Wildfire," 13 Nov. 2018 Doubts have risen about the legality of the execution of arrest warrants in content and form that deserve closer attention from international public opinion. WSJ, "Arbitrary Detention Is Far Too Common in Guatemala," 5 Sep. 2018 Hanen decided that the group of red states suing the Trump administration to end DACA waited too long to challenge the legality of the program. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump just lost his best chance to kill DACA this year," 31 Aug. 2018 Since nearly the beginning of his term as attorney general, Beshear has repeatedly filed lawsuits challenging the legality of actions of Bevin, his father's successor as governor. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Andy Beshear becomes first to announce run for Kentucky governor," 9 July 2018 The lawsuit by the Florida Education Association challenges the legality of HB 7055, a multi-pronged education bill the Florida Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed into law this spring. Leslie Postal,, "Florida teachers union sues state over 'busting unions' law," 2 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

13 Mar 2019

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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 How to pronounce legality (audio) \
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

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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

What made you want to look up legality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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