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

Examples of legitimize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Creating buzz around recent rarities like this seems to legitimize the notion of spending well over retail for recent models at Rolex retail outlets. Allen Farmelo, Robb Report, 9 Apr. 2024 The vote was orchestrated to legitimize his leadership after a crackdown on dissent that has left his rivals dead, jailed or in exile as his war in neighboring Ukraine enters its third year. Elizabeth Both, NBC News, 18 Mar. 2024 Pictures of a mother clutching her baby, a young family cowering in a bomb shelter, and heroic Russian soldiers recall images of World War II, which Russian propagandists routinely use to legitimize the current conflict. Francesca Ebel, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2024 Implying that the United States and Taiwan must shoulder the onus of assurance serves only to legitimize China’s preferred narrative that Beijing is blameless while others are responsible for damaging cross-strait relations. Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The way Mellon explains it, the pivotal New York Times story that is largely credited with helping legitimize UFOs within the broader culture never would have happened without his direct involvement. Lucas Ropek / Gizmodo, Quartz, 19 Mar. 2024 Does the murder of 1,200 Israelis legitimize Hamas’s obliteration? To remind the world what Israel must fight against — on behalf of innocent Israelis and Palestinians — Israeli women have undertaken a grueling job in the past months. Haley Strack, National Review, 1 Mar. 2024 That entity would need to be legitimized by a UN Security Council resolution and would oversee the gradual assumption of responsibility by the PA. Martin Indyk, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Mexico’s leaders have long tried to control the historical narrative to legitimize their rule — from the Mexican-American War of the 1840s to the Revolution starting in 1910. Luis Antonio Rojas, Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'legitimize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of legitimize was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near legitimize

Cite this Entry

“Legitimize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legitimize. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


le·​git·​i·​mize li-ˈjit-ə-ˌmīz How to pronounce legitimize (audio)
legitimized; legitimizing

Legal Definition


transitive verb
le·​git·​i·​mize lə-ˈji-tə-ˌmīz How to pronounce legitimize (audio)
legitimized; legitimizing
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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