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 Progressive prosecutors are merely delaying a pressing conversation about real radical reform and legitimizing a rotten system, according to critics who say progressive prosecution is an oxymoron. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The problem with Tiffany Cabán and the new cult of “progressive prosecutors”," 28 June 2019 Stember is planning to legitimize his operation and open a restaurant in Brooklyn, hopefully by May 2018. Tim Rohan, SI.com, "Former Olympic Runner Michael Stember Makes a Name for Himself Cutting Sushi," 6 Mar. 2018 On the path Since last year, Figueroa-Figueroa had been on a path to legitimizing her immigration status and right to work. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "She volunteered her time to help immigrant families. Now ICE plans to deport her.," 9 Sep. 2019 Southern California’s Metrolink service, and a 2016 bill, patched together in the final days of that year’s legislative session, legitimized the raid on bullet train funds even further. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: Derailing California’s high-speed rail," 6 Aug. 2019 In many cases, this also triggers notifications automatically, further legitimizing the malicious events. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Tricky Scam Plants Phishing Links in Your Google Calendar," 17 June 2019 The president will sit at a table legitimizing the regime. Fox News, "Sen. Toomey on move to curb Trump's trade authority," 10 June 2018 Upset them even a little and an onslaught of press releases questioning the very legitimacy of the U.N. appeared swiftly, which in the case of Israel was uniquely frustrating because the U.N. had legitimized its existence in the first place. Alejandro Varela, Harper's magazine, "Carlitos in Charge," 16 Sep. 2019 Ben McAdoo was let go due in part to his inability to sell and legitimize a transition that would see the Giants look at both Geno Smith and, eventually, Davis Webb before the end of the season. Conor Orr, SI.com, "Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning Showing Their Mortality as Quarterbacks," 16 Sep. 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

4 Nov 2019

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).


to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!