le·​git·​i·​mize | \ li-ˈji-tə-ˌmīz How to pronounce legitimize (audio) \
legitimized; legitimizing

Definition of legitimize

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from legitimize

legitimization \ li-​ˌji-​tə-​mə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce legitimization (audio) \ noun
legitimizer \ li-​ˈji-​tə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce legitimizer (audio) \ noun

Examples of legitimize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In recent years, there’s been a new effort to legitimize psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin, particularly for therapeutic benefit to those suffering from PTSD and addiction. Wallace Baine, SFChronicle.com, "What’s next for the Esalen Institute?," 5 Sep. 2019 House of Cards, an inky political drama and Netflix's first hit, helped early on to legitimize the streaming service as a Hollywood-disrupting entertainment powerhouse, rather than the mail-order DVD distributor it had been known as. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "‘Grace and Frankie’ Is Ending. How Did It Become Netflix’s Longest-Running Show?," 5 Sep. 2019 That gesture, a veteran Spanish-language TV reporter told me, helped legitimize Spanish-language media in the city. Graciela Mochkofsky, The New Yorker, "The Vital Importance of Learning to See Latinos in Trump’s America," 10 Aug. 2019 And in August 2015, Bernie Sanders began to loosen Hillary Clinton’s grip on New Hampshire by speaking to the party’s youthful left — around the same time Donald Trump addressed 2,500 at a raucous rally in Derry and helped legitimize his candidacy. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "Where are they? It’s high summer in N.H., but the candidates are elsewhere," 29 July 2019 Leaders in politically unstable countries have used the service to make incendiary comments that critics said have helped to legitimize violent acts among followers. Anchorage Daily News, "Twitter adds labels for tweets that break its rules - a move with potential implications for Trump’s account," 27 June 2019 In Malaysia, as in other places across Southeast Asia, elections had been deployed only to legitimize those in power. New York Times, "A Stunning, Sudden Fall for Najib Razak, Malaysia’s ‘Man of Steal’," 15 May 2018 If Oregon’s coming off a win, the week will be spent basking in the glory of legitimizing a claim to returning to national prominence. oregonlive.com, "Oregon opponent early scouting report: Nevada," 9 July 2019 Again, few surprises here: Ser Brienne, Ser Davos, and now Lord Gendry (after Daenerys legitimized him and named him Lord of Storm's End in Episode 4) all took part in the Battle of Winterfell and earned a place on this council. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Here's Everyone Who Made a Cameo on the Council in the Game of Thrones Finale," 21 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legitimize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of legitimize

1646, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about legitimize

Dictionary Entries near legitimize








Statistics for legitimize

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for legitimize

The first known use of legitimize was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for legitimize


transitive verb
le·​git·​i·​mize | \ lə-ˈji-tə-ˌmīz How to pronounce legitimize (audio) \
legitimized; legitimizing

Legal Definition of legitimize

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on legitimize

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!