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

The rise to power of those representing 50% of the world’s population can only be good for the legitimacy and durability of democracy. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 Activists and bloggers who challenge the legitimacy of the party and government can be jailed -- there are currently 169 activists in prison, according to U.S. Representative Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who has held hearings on Vietnam. John Boudreau, Bloomberg.com, "In Vietnam, Discontent Lurks Under Surface of Economic Success," 19 June 2018 And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimatized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Bitcoin and Blockchains in Davos, Starbucks Coin, Nuclear Hacks," 27 Jan. 2018 While others were too emotional to think about the legitimacy of it. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "All the Best Twitter Reactions to Last Night's "Riverdale" Drama," 17 Jan. 2019 Although both Beijing and Taipei view the island as part of China, neither government recognizes the legitimacy of the opposing side. Steven Jiang, CNN, "Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China," 12 June 2018 Peace is a prerequisite for the election to have any legitimacy, the opposition says. Bloomberg.com, "Zimbabwe Opposition Makes 10 Key Demands for Credible Election," 2 May 2018 In a tribalized society, there can be no legitimacy for an independent inquiry, indifferent to tribal politics. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "When Two Tribes Go to War," 2 Feb. 2018 This kind of scaremongering crapware has been around for literally decades and has rarely had much legitimacy to it. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows Defender to start removing “optimizer” scareware," 31 Jan. 2018

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

6 Mar 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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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