[ adjective, noun il-i-jit-uh-mit; verb il-i-jit-uh-meyt ]
/ adjective, noun ˌɪl ɪˈdʒɪt ə mɪt; verb ˌɪl ɪˈdʒɪt əˌmeɪt /



a person recognized or looked upon as illegitimate.

verb (used with object), il·le·git·i·mat·ed, il·le·git·i·mat·ing.

to declare illegitimate.

Nearby words

  1. illegalize,
  2. illegally,
  3. illegible,
  4. illegit,
  5. illegitimacy,
  6. illegitimatize,
  7. illegitimize,
  8. illia, arturo,
  9. illiberal,
  10. illich

Origin of illegitimate

First recorded in 1530–40; il-2 + legitimate

Related formsil·le·git·i·mate·ly, adverbil·le·git·i·mate·ness, il·le·git·i·ma·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for illegitimate

British Dictionary definitions for illegitimate


/ (ˌɪlɪˈdʒɪtɪmɪt) /


born of parents who were not married to each other at the time of birth; bastard
forbidden by law; illegal; unlawful
contrary to logic; incorrectly reasoned


an illegitimate person; bastard
Derived Formsillegitimacy or illegitimateness, nounillegitimately, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for illegitimate



1530s, "born out of wedlock," formed in English (and replacing earlier illegitime, c.1500), modeled on Latin illegitimus "not legitimate" (see il- + legitimate). Sense of "unauthorized, unwarranted" is from 1640s. Phrase illegitimi non carborundum, usually "translated" as "don't let the bastards grind you down," is fake Latin (by 1965, said to date from c.1939) (Carborundum was a brand of abrasives).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper