What does legitimate mean?

Definitions for legitimate
lɪˈdʒɪt ə mɪt; -ˌmeɪtle·git·i·mate

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. legitimateadjective

    of marriages and offspring; recognized as lawful

  2. legitimate, logicaladjective

    based on known statements or events or conditions

    "rain was a logical expectation, given the time of year"

  3. legitimateadjective

    in accordance with recognized or accepted standards or principles

    "legitimate advertising practices"

  4. lawful, legitimate, licitverb

    authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law

    "a legitimate government"

  5. legalize, legalise, decriminalize, decriminalise, legitimize, legitimise, legitimate, legitimatize, legitimatiseverb

    make legal

    "Marijuana should be legalized"

  6. legitimateverb

    show or affirm to be just and legitimate

  7. legitimateverb

    make (an illegitimate child) legitimate; declare the legitimacy of (someone)

    "They legitimized their natural child"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. LEGITIMATEadjective

    Born in marriage; lawfully begotten.

    Etymology: from legitimus, Lat. legitime, French.

    Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land;
    Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund. William Shakespeare.

    An adulterous person is tied to make provision for the children begotten in unlawful embraces, that they may do no injury to the legitimate, by receiving a common portion. Jeremy Taylor, Rule of Holy Living.

  2. To Legitimateverb

    Etymology: legitimer, Fr. from the adjective.

    Legitimate him that was a bastard. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    It would be impossible for any enterprize to be lawful, if that which should legitimate it is subsequent to it, and can have no influence to make it good or bad. Decay of Piety.


  1. legitimate

    Legitimate is defined as being in compliance with the law or accepted standards or rules, or conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards. It refers to something or someone that is legal, rightful, valid, or genuine. Legitimate can be used in various contexts such as law, business, and casual settings, referring to authority, power, actions, births, transactions, etc.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Legitimateadjective

    accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements; lawful; as, legitimate government; legitimate rights; the legitimate succession to the throne; a legitimate proceeding of an officer; a legitimate heir

  2. Legitimateadjective

    lawfully begotten; born in wedlock

  3. Legitimateadjective

    authorized; real; genuine; not false, counterfeit, or spurious; as, legitimate poems of Chaucer; legitimate inscriptions

  4. Legitimateadjective

    conforming to known principles, or accepted rules; as, legitimate reasoning; a legitimate standard, or method; a legitimate combination of colors

  5. Legitimateadjective

    following by logical sequence; reasonable; as, a legitimate result; a legitimate inference

  6. Legitimateverb

    to make legitimate, lawful, or valid; esp., to put in the position or state of a legitimate person before the law, by legal means; as, to legitimate a bastard child

  7. Etymology: [LL. legitimatus, p. p. of legitimare to legitimate, fr. L. legitimus legitimate. See Legal.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Legitimate

    le-jit′i-māt, adj. lawful: lawfully begotten, born in wedlock: fairly deduced: following by natural sequence: authorised by usage.—v.t. to make lawful: to give the rights of a legitimate child to an illegitimate one.—n. Legit′imacy, state of being legitimate: lawfulness of birth: regular deduction: directness of descent as affecting the royal succession.—adv. Legit′imately.—ns. Legit′imateness, lawfulness; Legitimā′tion, act of rendering legitimate, esp. of conferring the privileges of lawful birth.—v.t. Legit′imise (same as Legitimate).—n. Legit′imist, one who supports legitimate authority: in France, a follower of the elder Bourbon line (descendants of Louis XIV.), as opposed to the Orleanists or supporters of the descendants of the Duke of Orleans, Louis XIV.'s brother.—Legitimate drama, a designation frequently applied to the representation of Shakespeare's plays—often employed as vaguely indicating approval of the drama of some former time. [Low L. legitimāre. -ātum—L. legitimus, lawful—lex, law.]

Editors Contribution

  1. legitimate

    In accordance with the relevant legislation.

    The fuel costs for the business are legitimate.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 8, 2020  

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British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'legitimate' in Adjectives Frequency: #752

How to pronounce legitimate?

How to say legitimate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of legitimate in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of legitimate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of legitimate in a Sentence

  1. Thomas Jefferson:

    The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

  2. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

    The situation we are currently facing is one of legitimate defense, no one can deny or limit Turkey’s legitimate right to defense in the face of terrorist attacks.

  3. Thomas Jefferson:

    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

  4. Thomas Jefferson:

    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.

  5. Wendell Berry:

    To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for legitimate

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"legitimate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/legitimate>.

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    sound of something in rapid motion
    • A. whirring
    • B. busy
    • C. suspicious
    • D. dangerous

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