What does illegitimate mean?

Definitions for illegitimate
ˌɪl ɪˈdʒɪt ə mɪtil·le·git·i·mate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word illegitimate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bastard, by-blow, love child, illegitimate child, illegitimate, whoresonadjective

    the illegitimate offspring of unmarried parents

  2. illegitimate, illicit, outlaw(a), outlawed, unlawfuladjective

    contrary to or forbidden by law

    "an illegitimate seizure of power"; "illicit trade"; "an outlaw strike"; "unlawful measures"

  3. illegitimateadjective

    of marriages and offspring; not recognized as lawful


  1. illegitimateadjective

    Illegal; against the law.

  2. illegitimateadjective

    Born to unmarried parents.

  3. illegitimateadjective

    Illogical; incorrectly deduced.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Illegitimateadjective

    Unlawfully begotten; not begotten in wedlock.

    Etymology: in and legitimus, Latin.

    Grieve not at your state;
    For all the word is illegitimate. John Cleveland.

    Being illegitimate, I was deprived of that endearing tenderness and uncommon satisfaction, which a good man finds in the love and conversation of a parent. Joseph Addison, Spectator.


  1. illegitimate

    Legitimacy, in traditional Western common law, is the status of a child born to parents who are legally married to each other, and of a child conceived before the parents obtain a legal divorce. Conversely, illegitimacy, also known as bastardy, has been the status of a child born outside marriage, such a child being known as a bastard, a love child, a natural child, or illegitimate. In Scots law, the terms natural son and natural daughter bear the same implications. The importance of legitimacy has decreased substantially in Western countries since the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the declining influence of conservative Christian churches in family and social life. Births outside marriage now represent a large majority in many countries of Western Europe and the Americas, as well as in many former European colonies. In many Western-influenced cultures, stigma based on parents' marital status, and use of the word bastard, are now widely considered offensive.


  1. illegitimate

    Illegitimate refers to something that is not authorized, recognized, or considered valid according to the law, rules, or standards. It is often used to describe actions, practices, or situations that are deemed unlawful, unacceptable, or improper. It can also refer to a child born outside of marriage; however, this usage is considered outdated and possibly offensive.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Illegitimateadjective

    not according to law; not regular or authorized; unlawful; improper

  2. Illegitimateadjective

    unlawfully begotten; born out of wedlock; bastard; as, an illegitimate child

  3. Illegitimateadjective

    not legitimately deduced or inferred; illogical; as, an illegitimate inference

  4. Illegitimateadjective

    not authorized by good usage; not genuine; spurious; as, an illegitimate word

  5. Illegitimateverb

    to render illegitimate; to declare or prove to be born out of wedlock; to bastardize; to illegitimatize

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Illegitimate

    il-le-jit′i-māt, adj. not according to law: not born in wedlock: not properly inferred or reasoned: not genuine.—n. Illegit′imacy.—adv. Illegit′imātely.—n. Illegitimā′tion, the act of rendering, or state of being, illegitimate.

How to pronounce illegitimate?

How to say illegitimate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of illegitimate in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of illegitimate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of illegitimate in a Sentence

  1. Joe Biden:

    I'm not saying it’s gonna be legit, the increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is a direct proportion to us not been able to get these reforms passed.

  2. Rivera Schatz:

    To those who lent themselves, for their personal interest, to this embarrassing attempt to install an illegitimate government, that is how you will go down in the history of Puerto Rico.

  3. Michiaki Satate:

    At this moment, it is an illegitimate board and set of officers who are running the business.

  4. Steve Vladeck:

    Once again, The Supreme Court has thrown out federal criminal convictions of public officials who, by their own admission, abused their power for corrupt and illegitimate purposes, the harder question is whether Congress will respond to rulings like this one by expanding the scope of these laws, or whether we're going to end up with a world in which criminal liability for such nefarious conduct depends upon the color of one's collar.

  5. Paul Chambers:

    It is likely that in the aftermath of next week's election, Thailand's military establishment will, by hook or by crook, win a coalition majority, but only with the help of junta-appointed senators, the use of crony senators to win would also make Prayut's electoral victory illegitimate in the eyes of most Thai people.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for illegitimate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for illegitimate »


Find a translation for the illegitimate definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"illegitimate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/illegitimate>.

Discuss these illegitimate definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for illegitimate? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
    A reciprocal
    B recital
    C ditch
    D peccadillo

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for illegitimate: