le·git·i·mize | \li-ˈji-tə-ˌmīz \
legitimized; legitimizing

Definition of legitimize 

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Other Words from legitimize

legitimization \li-ˌji-tə-mə-ˈzā-shən \ noun
legitimizer \li-ˈji-tə-ˌmī-zər \ noun

Examples of legitimize in a Sentence

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That position has to be bolstered by cultural norms, including a consensus that the president must not legitimize and amplify the speech of those who openly bear the swastika and believe that other races are inferior to the white race. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "In Trump’s America, the ACLU takes a new approach to free speech.," 23 June 2018 Meanwhile, the Galactic Empire fails to provide citizens on most planets with even the basic public goods that help to legitimize states, including courts and security from criminals. Amy Erica Smith, Vox, "Solo reveals the weakness of the Star Wars Galactic Empire," 20 June 2018 Photographer: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg Falcon, a 56-year-old former solider and governor, is the most popular candidate, but even so has struggled to garner widespread support as many Maduro opponents accuse him of legitimizing a sham vote. Philip Brian Tabuas, Bloomberg.com, "Venezuela Votes in a Presidential Election. Enthusiasm Is Absent," 19 May 2018 Lester legitimized the Cubs to others by signing as a free agent after the 2014 season, shortly after manager Joe Maddon was hired. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Jake Arrieta, returning to Wrigley Field with Phillies, transformed Cubs into a team to be feared," 4 June 2018 The law taking effect Friday was intended to legitimize the home-sharing business by allowing registered Airbnb hosts to operate freely. Mayumi Negishi, WSJ, "Japan Says Airbnb Had Plenty of Warning About New Licensing Law," 11 June 2018 Some local politicians legitimized the group through the 1980s by sucking up to ben Yahweh. Jose Lambiet, miamiherald, "New mystery book based on early '90s cult slayings in Miami | Miami Herald," 7 May 2018 Trump is being urged not to legitimize Kim by agreeing to talks in North Korea. Washington Post, "Search is on for the best summit site for Trump, Kim," 10 Mar. 2018 The zero-tolerance policy and the recent Supreme Court ruling that legitimizes Trump’s Muslim ban illustrate just how far this administration will go to silo the U.S. from the rest of the world. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "It's Not OK to Appropriate Mexican Culture — Especially If You’re Dehumanizing Its People," 28 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of legitimize

1646, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for legitimize

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for legitimize

The first known use of legitimize was in 1646

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More Definitions for legitimize


transitive verb
le·git·i·mize | \lə-ˈji-tə-ˌmīz \
legitimized; legitimizing

Legal Definition of legitimize 

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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