• synonyms


noun, plural leg·a·cies.
  1. Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
  2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
  3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
  4. Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.
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  1. of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.
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Origin of legacy

1325–75; Middle English legacie office of a deputy or legate < Medieval Latin lēgātia. See legate, -acy

Synonyms for legacy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for legacies

tradition, gift, estate, birthright, heirloom, devise, endowment, bequest, throwback

Examples from the Web for legacies

Contemporary Examples of legacies

Historical Examples of legacies

British Dictionary definitions for legacies


noun plural -cies
  1. a gift by will, esp of money or personal property
  2. something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor
  3. (modifier) surviving computer systems, hardware, or softwarelegacy network; legacy application
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Word Origin for legacy

C14 (meaning: office of a legate), C15 (meaning: bequest): from Medieval Latin lēgātia commission; see legate
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 legacies



late 14c., "body of persons sent on a mission," from Old French legatie "legate's office," from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus "ambassador, envoy," noun use of past participle of legare "appoint by a last will, send as a legate" (see legate). Sense of "property left by will" appeared in Scottish mid-15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper