Adjective "illegitimate" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Not authorized by the law; not in accordance with accepted standards or rules.
  1. 'In any event, the exclusion of them from the balancing exercise is likewise illegitimate.'
  2. 'We can challenge illegitimate corporate authority.'
  3. 'Even a political leader herself can with good reason believe that her political power is illegitimate, and that exercising this power is unjustified.'
  4. 'Denying one group their rightful possession of property, acquired according to these rules, was the illegitimate exercise of government powers and was unjust.'
  5. 'It will be unusual for a bank itself to have exercised undue influence, acted unconscionably, or exerted illegitimate pressure.'
  6. 'Moreover, as Lord Scarman recognised, pressure which appears legitimate might be illegitimate if applied for the wrong motives.'
  7. 'It aims to block domestic usurpers or foreign aggressors from establishing illegitimate rule over the attacked society.'
  8. 'Even if he is right as a matter of political theory, he will not be an effective lawyer if he treats the law as wholly illegitimate.'
  9. 'It also demonstrates the fragility of the dividing line between the legitimate and illegitimate grant of exclusive rights.'
  10. 'False account names, the use of financial intermediaries, and commingling of funds for legitimate and illegitimate purposes are the rule.'
(of a child) born of parents not lawfully married to each other.
  1. 'There was no such thing as an illegitimate child, a mother had simply to ‘name’ the child and if it was a son he could inherit part of its father's property.'
  2. 'The illegitimate child of this union is the occasion for the legacy.'
  3. 'When you mention that, illegitimate children, that is one of the things which in a generation, twenty years or so, attitudes have changed wholesale.'
  4. 'Thousands of illegitimate children were denied adoption because the church could not countenance the thought that ‘the legal parent might be alive’.'
  5. 'Again, he vows to do penance by marrying Elizabeth and accepting her illegitimate son.'
  6. 'It's all lifestyle and marriages and illegitimate children and tears before bedtime.'
  7. 'Manapat said Poe was born as the illegitimate child of an already married Spanish father and an American mother, and thus should have acquired the citizenship of his mother under Philippine law.'
  8. 'There are no stipulations for issues like illegitimate children, or the now rampant cases of domestic violence.'
  9. 'The family nanny bore Peter's illegitimate child.'
  10. 'As indicated above, another of the major problems for illegitimate children was the feeling that they were never secure members of their families.'


A person who is illegitimate by birth.
  1. 'Even illegitimates with basically happy lives regretted having no relationship with their fathers.'
  2. 'Unlike Oklahoma, all states have not provided for inheritance by illegitimates.'
  3. 'To be sure, some illegitimates who were unquestionably established as children of the decreased would be disqualified because of failure of compliance, but individual fairness is not the test.'
  4. 'However irrational it may be to burden innocent children because their parents did not marry, illegitimates are nonetheless a traditionally disfavored class in our society.'
  5. 'If you don't believe what I'm saying, look at all the illegitimates, having more and more illegitimates in America and Africa.'
  6. 'The children of illegitimates, indeed the grandchildren of illegitimates, could also have their ambitions frustrated by the actions of their ancestors.'
  7. 'The legal position and disabilities of illegitimates remained largely unchanged until late in the 20th century, unaffected by the family law reforms of the 1920s and the general loosening of standards during the two world wars.'
  8. 'She claimed not to have experienced the teasing and cruelty that other illegitimates remembered.'
  9. 'Here, by contrast, the statute does not broadly discriminate between legitimates and illegitimates without more, but is carefully tuned to alternative considerations.'


1. born of parents who are not married to each other; born out of wedlock: an illegitimate child.

2. not legitimate; not sanctioned by law or custom.

3. unlawful; illegal: an illegitimate action.

4. irregular; not in good usage.

5. Logic. not in accordance with the principles of valid inference.

6. Obsolete. of or relating to stage plays in which musical numbers were inserted because of laws that gave only a few theaters the exclusive right to produce straight dramas. actin

More examples(as adjective)

"terms can be illegitimate within terms."

"children can be illegitimate."

"daughters can be illegitimate."

"sons can be illegitimate."

"births can be illegitimate."

More examples++


Mid 16th century: from late Latin illegitimus (from in- ‘not’ + legitimus ‘lawful’), suggested by legitimate.