- according to law; lawful: the property's legitimate owner.
- in accordance with established rules, principles, or standards.
- born in wedlock or of legally married parents: legitimate children.
- in accordance with the laws of reasoning; logically inferable; logical: a legitimate conclusion.
- resting on or ruling by the principle of hereditary right: a legitimate sovereign.
- not spurious or unjustified; genuine: It was a legitimate complaint.
- of the normal or regular type or kind.
- Theater. of or relating to professionally produced stage plays, as distinguished from burlesque, vaudeville, television, motion pictures, etc.: an actor in the legitimate theater.
- to make lawful or legal; pronounce or state as lawful: Parliament legitimated his accession to the throne.
- to establish as lawfully born: His bastard children were afterward legitimated by law.
- to show or declare to be legitimate or proper: He was under obligation to legitimate his commission.
- to justify; sanction or authorize: His behavior was legitimated by custom.
- the legitimate, the legitimate theater or drama.
- a person who is established as being legitimate.
Origin of legitimate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for legitimate
There are limits to the painting of banditry and extortion as the legitimate raising of taxes.ISIS’s Futile Quest to Go Legit
January 5, 2015
In 2012, as a 10th grader, Lean says he recorded his first legitimate song, “Hurt.”The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’
January 4, 2015
He was courteous, explained the legitimate reason we were briefly pulled over, and then let us continue on our way.Obama Is Right on Race. The Media Is Wrong.
December 29, 2014
There are legitimate criticisms of the study, but not because it includes “attempted forced kissing,” as Lowry suggested.Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Dec. 7
December 7, 2014
Williams sold hardware manufactured by a legitimate company, said Sargent, who took a 25 to 30 percent commission.Patients Screwed in Spine Surgery ‘Scam’
The Center for Investigative Reporting
November 3, 2014
That, at least, is a legitimate inference to draw from the history of life on this planet.The Conquest of Fear
It was late autumn; the legitimate racing season had closed.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
At all events, it is a legitimate induction from materialistic premises.Life: Its True Genesis
R. W. Wright
They looked upon him as legitimate prey, and as legitimate prey he looked upon them.White Fang
No end of possibilities lie in the neck—even the "legitimate."
- born in lawful wedlock; enjoying full filial rights
- conforming to established standards of usage, behaviour, etc
- based on correct or acceptable principles of reasoning
- reasonable, sensible, or valida legitimate question
- authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law
- of, relating to, or ruling by hereditary righta legitimate monarch
- of or relating to a body of famous long-established plays as distinct from films, television, vaudeville, etcthe legitimate theatre
- (tr) to make, pronounce, or show to be legitimate
Word Origin and History for legitimate
mid-15c., "lawfully begotten," from Middle French legitimer and directly from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare "make lawful, declare to be lawful," from Latin legitimus "lawful," originally "fixed by law, in line with the law," from lex (genitive legis) "law" (see legal). Transferred sense of "genuine, real" is attested from 1550s. Related: Legitimately.
1590s, from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare (see legitimate (adj.)). Related: Legitimated; legitimating.