lawful may apply to conformity with law of any sort (such as natural, divine, common, or canon).
the lawful sovereign
legal applies to what is sanctioned by law or in conformity with the law, especially as it is written or administered by the courts.
legal residents of the state
legitimate may apply to a legal right or status but also, in extended use, to a right or status supported by tradition, custom, or accepted standards.
a perfectly legitimate question about taxes
licit applies to a strict conformity to the provisions of the law and applies especially to what is regulated by law.
the licit use of drugs by doctors
AdjectiveLaw books were getting thicker by the week with Supreme Court decisions barring legitimate claims because they weren't timely filed.—John Grisham, The Chamber, 1995Even in many courtrooms, where there is valid concern about the privacy of defendants, judges recognize that camera coverage serves a legitimate public interest.—New Republic, 22 Feb. 1993He was indeed already a legitimate child according to the law of Scotland, by the subsequent marriage of his parents.—Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Mid-Lothian, 1818legitimate means for achieving success
the legitimate use of firearms
There's no legitimate reason for prescribing this medication to a child. VerbWhich comes first, the desire to legitimate euthanasia or the nullifying of a distinction between killing and allowing to die?—Daniel Callahan, Commonweal, 2 June 2000Poland has ceased being a nation with even a pretense of Communist rule, a rule that is legitimated by Marxist ideology.—Irving Kristol, Wall Street Journal, 11 Jan. 1982… they are more concerned with the ways in which schools and colleges legitimate and maintain inequality than with the ways they devalue and restrict personal autonomy.—Christopher Jencks, New York Times Book Review, 15 Feb. 1976
slang words legitimated by usage
Her tendency to be secretive only serves to legitimate their suspicions. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
However, there’s one significant barrier – one-third of consumers worry the goods aren’t legitimate.—Jenn Mcmillen, Forbes, 22 Jan. 2023 Customers who doubt a call, in-person interaction, text, or email is legitimate should call Eversource directly to confirm the authenticity of the contact.—Staff, Hartford Courant, 18 Jan. 2023 Your reasons for wanting one (companionship, being forced to go outside) are legitimate, and are the same reasons many people choose dogs.—Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 17 Jan. 2023 Your reasons for wanting one (companionship, being forced to go outside) are legitimate, and are the same reasons many people choose dogs.—Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2023 Your reasons for wanting one (companionship, being forced to go outside) are legitimate, and are the same reasons many people choose dogs.—Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 17 Jan. 2023 The product is legitimate because it was made by licensed dietician and strength and conditioning specialist Jayson Hunter.—Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 14 Jan. 2023 Numerous recounts, reviews and forensic audits have confirmed the 2020 presidential election results are legitimate, as USA TODAY previously reported.—Nate Trela, USA TODAY, 10 Jan. 2023 The former engineering manager said some other ousted Twitter employees were able to confirm with what remains of Twitter’s HR department that the emails were legitimate.—Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2023
The specific roles may vary based on the type of fraud being perpetrated, but the parallels to legitimate business are clear.—Mike Tuchen, Forbes, 6 Jan. 2023 Cy Young Award winner gives Rangers legitimate ace to front the rotation.—Dallas News, 6 Dec. 2022 If the lockdown orders are lifted, and this transpires, Xi will no longer be able to legitimate his rule as superior to the decadence of the West.—Bobby Miller, National Review, 2 Dec. 2022 And Hoover, having learned his lesson in 1920, worked hard to legitimate his wartime actions.—Jack Goldsmith, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2022 Would any legitimate fraudster or mule do that and then report on themselves?—CBS News, 23 Oct. 2022 Tennessee, however, has made the biggest and most difficult leap, going from the fringes of the Top 25 to legitimate national championship contender.—Ralph D. Russo, Chicago Tribune, 19 Oct. 2022 Given this context, perhaps we Americans are envious that the British have something as historically sturdy as the divine right of kings to legitimate vast, hereditary, and permanent inequality and enshrine its maintenance as a civic virtue.—Suzanne Schneider, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2022 Frequent false positives exhaust security teams and may delay response to legitimate ransomware alerts.—Etay Maor, Forbes, 1 July 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legitimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Adjective and Verb
Middle English legitimat, from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare to legitimate, from Latin legitimus legitimate, from leg-, lex law