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

Definition of legitimize

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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 Trump has continually decried the probe into his Ukraine dealings as a sham, and showing up at this hearing, or sending a lawyer, might in his mind only legitimize the inquiry he’s dubbed a witch hunt. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Trump has been invited to the impeachment inquiry. Will he decry it via tweet instead?," 27 Nov. 2019 Once again, the administration can help the most by simply getting out of the way and offering regulatory guidance summing up the long body of NLRB and judicial decisions legitimizing the expansion of hiring halls in every industry. Eli Lehrer, National Review, "How the Trump Administration Should Help Nontraditional Labor Organizations," 7 Nov. 2019 Engagement leads to business success Social engagement also contributes to long-term business success and sustainability, legitimizing the role of a family in its community. Bruce Deboskey, The Denver Post, "On Philanthropy: The “secret sauce” of thriving 100-year families," 13 Oct. 2019 Tencent and NetEase threw their weight behind the effort, effectively legitimizing the market, says Guy Henderson, president of Sony/ATV's international division. Amy Hawkins, Billboard, "Can China Produce a K-Pop Success Story?," 27 Sep. 2019 While some experts suggest this legal harvest prevents far more eggs from being taken illegally, others fear that legitimizing any of this trade perpetuates the black market. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "Sea turtles are surviving—despite us," 20 Sep. 2019 Starting with a franchise-record 46-14 first quarter, the Heat formally legitimized what now is a 5-1 record. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat obliterate Rockets at outset, cruise to 129-100 victory," 3 Nov. 2019 One thing that West has accomplished in the past decade is helping to legitimize dilettantism. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Kanye West’s True Salvation on “Jesus Is King”," 27 Oct. 2019 Human Rights Watch says the fatwas, or edicts, have legitimized increasingly hateful rhetoric by government officials against LGBT people, and in some cases fueled deadly violence by Islamic militants against religious minorities. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Indonesia’s popular president to be sworn in for 2nd term," 20 Oct. 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.

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First Known Use of legitimize

1646, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for legitimize

Time Traveler

The first known use of legitimize was in 1646

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Statistics for legitimize

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Legitimize.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legitimize?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=l&file=legiti09. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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

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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).


a period of high artistic development

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