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See more synonyms for legality on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural le·gal·i·ties.
  1. the state or quality of being in conformity with the law; lawfulness.
  2. attachment to or observance of law.
  3. Usually legalities. a duty or obligation imposed by law.
  4. Theology. reliance on good works for salvation rather than on free grace.
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Origin of legality

1425–75; late Middle English legalite < Medieval Latin lēgālitās. See legal, -ity
Related formspseu·do·le·gal·i·ty, noun, plural pseu·do·le·gal·i·ties.


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1. legitimacy, licitness, validity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for legality

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is this country that is dangerous, with her idealistic conception of legality.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • I am happy to find you agreeing with me, then, in the legality of the doctrine of the right of search.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • He had gone astray after Mr. Legality, and the rocks had almost overwhelmed him.


    James Anthony Froude

  • In other words, if it was not illegal—there was no doubt of its legality—it was an incivility.

  • A point had arisen concerning the legality of certain payments.

British Dictionary definitions for legality


noun plural -ties
  1. the state or quality of being legal or lawful
  2. adherence to legal principles
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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 legality


mid-15c., from Middle French légalité, from Medieval Latin legalitatem (nominative legalitas), from Latin legalis "pertaining to the law" (see legal).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper