le·​git·​i·​ma·​cy | \ li-ˈji-tə-mə-sē How to pronounce legitimacy (audio) \

Definition of legitimacy

: the quality or state of being legitimate

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Synonyms & Antonyms for legitimacy


lawfulness, legality


illegality, illegitimacy, unlawfulness, wrongfulness

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Examples of legitimacy in a Sentence

the legitimacy of the military dictatorship was not recognized by most other nations

Recent Examples on the Web

Chief among their concerns is the legitimacy of tropical forest credits. Los Angeles Times, "The world is watching as California weighs controversial plan to save tropical forests," 13 Sep. 2019 In turn, City then launched their own pre-emptive strike against UEFA in June, taking their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge the legitimacy of UEFA's investigation. SI.com, "Man City Still Risk Champions League Ban at the End of Season as Financial Fair Play Case Rumbles On," 12 Sep. 2019 Britain has since unwittingly become a laboratory for how a deeply rooted parliamentary democracy can be shaken to its core by populism, especially when wrapped in the democratic legitimacy of a public referendum. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Brexit’s ‘Doomsday Politics’ Mean Voters May Be Last Chance to Resolve Crisis," 4 Sep. 2019 The terrorist movement known as Daesh (or Islamic State) regards the legitimacy of slavery under Islam as axiomatic, and questions the right of anyone who thinks otherwise to be considered Muslim. The Economist, "Everywhere in chains," 27 Aug. 2019 Amazon, for its part, testified to the legitimacy of its ambassadors. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Amazon’s Twitter ambassadors are blurring the line between fact and fiction," 16 Aug. 2019 Of note, though, at least in Diamond’s eyes, is when the state first realized the legitimacy of the allegations facing the officers. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Judge may grant new trial in assault case after defense says Ramsey County Attorney’s Office didn’t share information," 2 Aug. 2019 Today, although confronted with artifacts, relics, the tales of survivors, and the undeniable truth about the brutalities of the Holocaust, some continue to the deny the legitimacy of history. Anna Ben Yehuda Rahmanan, Fortune, "The Largest U.S. Exhibit Ever About the Holocaust Opens in Downtown Manhattan," 27 July 2019 Victim devices accepted the tainted software because the attackers signed it with a real Asus certificate (used to verify the legitimacy of new code). Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "The Biggest Cybersecurity Crises of 2019 So Far," 5 July 2019

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

1625, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for legitimacy

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for legitimacy

The first known use of legitimacy was in 1625

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More Definitions for legitimacy


le·​git·​i·​ma·​cy | \ li-ˈji-tə-mə-sē How to pronounce legitimacy (audio) \

Legal Definition of legitimacy

: the quality or state of being legitimate

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Comments on legitimacy

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


to make a temporary encampment

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