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 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 While recognizing questionable leaders helps legitimize their actions, some think there could be a potential upside. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "The problem with the Gates Foundation’s award to Narendra Modi," 27 Sep. 2019 Deebo Samuel’s further legitimized his starting role with physical, fearless play (five catches, 87 yards). Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers report card: ‘A’ fabulous road to a 2-0 start," 16 Sep. 2019 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

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

18 Nov 2019

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 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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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