Adjective "legitimate" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Conforming to the law or to rules.
  1. 'Let's talk about where you draw the line between legitimate civil disobedience, and what constitutes damage to lawful, economical commercial activity.'
  2. 'He says tenancy databases are an important and legitimate tool which help real estate agents carry out their job responsibly.'
  3. 'However, not only have there been multiple forcible annexations since the Charter's adoption, but many of them have been accepted as legitimate by the international community.'
  4. 'How did the police come to be accepted as legitimate authority figures rather than politically controversial bearers of power?'
  5. 'No tax was withheld, and according to Webb he believed this to be a legitimate tax avoidance scheme.'
  6. 'Only 29 per cent of respondents correctly recognised the government or judiciary as the legitimate authorities to make decisions about the legal status of online content.'
  7. 'The manner in which the trial had been conducted meant that it was necessary to do so in order to introduce legitimate examination of the appellant's evidence at the first trial.'
  8. 'Miss Rose submitted that this passage demonstrated that public perception was a legitimate element of penal policy.'
  9. 'But surprisingly, the site appears to be legitimate.'
  10. 'The Crown Court judge refused to accept this as a legitimate use of the power.'
  11. 'a legitimate male heir'
  12. 'She was his only legitimate child by his only wife.'
  13. 'Oliver's will left all his property to his legitimate children.'
  14. 'Although Voltaire was not the father, he helped Du Châtelet deceive her husband into thinking that the baby was legitimate.'
  15. 'Many of the mothers of such children later married and had legitimate children, even in ‘respectable’ neighborhoods.'
  16. 'Only rarely do legitimate children express such feelings of inferiority, and these exceptions are instructive.'
  17. 'None of her three uncles had any legitimate children (read into that what you will) so when they all died, she inherited the throne at 18.'
  18. 'Since Charles II, James's brother, was unlikely to have further legitimate children, James's remarriage was imperative and a hunt for suitable partners began.'
  19. 'But priests can't get married or have legitimate children, so where on earth does the last name Bishop come from?'
  20. 'So a British father of an illegitimate child born abroad is not recognised as a father for the purposes of Section 2 but a British mother is; so is a British father of a legitimate child born abroad.'
  21. 'Yet it was not until the Guardianship Act 1973 that statute gave each parent equal and separately exercisable rights over a legitimate child.'
  22. 'Even a technically legitimate ruler forfeits his right to obedience if his mandates do not correspond to moral norms.'
  23. 'William wisely would not accept the throne until he was recognized as legitimate king by Parliament.'
  24. 'William sent out news of his victory and invited the Saxon lords to recognize him as the legitimate king.'
Able to be defended with logic or justification; valid.
  1. 'The only defender with a legitimate excuse is CB Ryan McNeil, who is playing with a soft cast on his fractured forearm.'
  2. 'Workers in East Asia thus need to explore and combine a variety of tactics to defend their legitimate interests.'
  3. 'There is no issue as to the decision in the present case being one taken in accordance with the law and in pursuance of a legitimate objective, namely the maintenance of control over immigration.'
  4. 'These judges sent a clear message that family caregiving was not a legitimate reason to be excused from jury duty.'
  5. 'In order to address the legitimate concerns of the Children's Aid Society that this case proceed without delay from here on in, I will case manage it.'
  6. 'The Home Office had no ulterior purpose in that case: it was solely motivated by an entirely legitimate concern to enforce proper immigration controls.'
  7. 'In some cases, a legitimate justification may, indeed, be possible.'
  8. 'I do not understand what legitimate reason can have justified its coming into existence.'
  9. 'And since when does having a democracy excuse any country from legitimate, reasoned criticism?'
  10. 'Well, on the one hand Turks have a legitimate need to defend their national dignity - and this includes being recognised as part of the West and Europe.'
Constituting or relating to serious drama as distinct from musical comedy, revue, etc.
  1. 'These theatres focused on legitimate drama and opera but halls providing popular stage entertainments also began to appear.'
  2. 'Prudie learned this approach as it is used in legitimate theater.'
  3. 'Yet you very rarely see them in legitimate theatre.'


Make lawful or justify.
  1. 'The rhetoric of rights legitimates claims and mobilizes support for groups demanding autonomy.'
  2. 'Slave law backed up and legitimated the private power of slaveowners.'
  3. 'If the state thinks it is legitimate then it legitimates its own laws.'
  4. 'But, while their identity as victims legitimated their cause, it also conferred on them the image of a people who had gone like lambs to the slaughter.'
  5. 'This legitimated the regime in the eyes of the faithful, a very political consequence of adherence to a seemingly apolitical ideology.'
  6. 'Acts of violence are legitimated through the evocation of historical events.'
  7. 'Those opposed to such research think that the logic of justification behind therapeutic cloning will set a dangerous precedent, legitimating experimentation on other human beings, born and unborn.'
  8. 'There are some cases in which the efforts of conservatives to appease racism in the electorate have deprived fascists of support, but other cases in which this has legitimated fascism.'
  9. 'It is legitimating a human want by means of legislation.'
  10. 'The Supreme Court decision legitimated the claims of African Americans and other racial minorities to participate in national life and set the stage for the emerging civil rights movement.'


1. according to law; lawful: the property's legitimate owner.

2. in accordance with established rules, principles, or standards.

3. born in wedlock or of legally married parents: legitimate children.

4. in accordance with the laws of reasoning; logically inferable; logical: a legitimate conclusion.

5. resting on or ruling by the principle of hereditary right: a legitimate sovereign.

6. not spurious or unjustified; genuine: It was a legitimate complaint.

7. of the

More examples(as adjective)

"retirements can be legitimate for somes."

"hopes can be legitimate in eyes."

"evaluations can be legitimate in sets."

"educations can be legitimate in facts."

"complaints can be legitimate in minds."

More examples++


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘born of parents lawfully married to each other’): from medieval Latin legitimatus ‘made legal’, from the verb legitimare, from Latin legitimus ‘lawful’, from lex, leg- ‘law’.