noun, plural le·gal·i·ties.

the state or quality of being in conformity with the law; lawfulness.
attachment to or observance of law.
Usually legalities. a duty or obligation imposed by law.
Theology. reliance on good works for salvation rather than on free grace.

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.

Synonyms for legality

1. legitimacy, licitness, validity. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for legality

Contemporary Examples of legality

Historical Examples of legality

  • 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

the state or quality of being legal or lawful
adherence to legal principles
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper