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



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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 Trump has attacked the legitimacy of US elections before. Alexander Burns, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump attacks an election he is at risk of losing," 31 July 2020 George laughs off anyone questioning the legitimacy of the biggest win of his career. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Houston boxer Joe George ready to prove a point on Showtime," 30 July 2020 The case’s opposing counsel is legend Solomon Waltzer, whose tactics have the firm questioning the legitimacy of his evidence. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Good Fight season 4 premiere is free to watch online for Emmys season," 3 July 2020 Observers warned that the new dubious methods used by authorities to boost turnout, combined with numerous bureaucratic hurdles that hindered independent monitoring, would undermine the legitimacy of the vote. Fox News, "Russian voters keep Putin in power until 2036," 2 July 2020 Many have brought the legitimacy of the current vote into question, which, if true, wouldn't be an outlier, as the nation has a fairly dismal record on election fairness. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Putin wins referendum that could extend rule until 2036," 1 July 2020 Annexation would undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian leadership and spell the end of a two-state solution, Arab leaders, the U.N. and Western officials say. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "Arab governments denounce Israel’s plans to annex the West Bank, warning it will imperil regional security and peace building. But will Israel listen?," 27 June 2020 And over time, these seemingly intractable battles over voting will almost certainly threaten the legitimacy of our electoral process. Lee Drutman, The New Republic, "How Democracy Dies at the Ballot Box," 18 June 2020 This presents complex questions involving fundamental human rights, the integrity of democracy and the legitimacy of governments. The Economist, "The world after covid-19 Alan Doss and Mo Ibrahim on preventing covid from killing democracy in Africa," 17 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for legitimacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of legitimacy was in 1625

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Statistics for legitimacy

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legitimacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legitimacy. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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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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