[adjective, noun li-jit-uh-mit; verb li-jit-uh-meyt]


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


the legitimate, the legitimate theater or drama.
a person who is established as being legitimate.

Nearby words

  1. legislature,
  2. legist,
  3. legit,
  4. legitim,
  5. legitimacy,
  6. legitimate government,
  7. legitimation,
  8. legitimatize,
  9. legitime,
  10. legitimism

Origin of legitimate

First recorded in 1485–95, legitimate is from the Medieval Latin word lēgitimātus (past participle of lēgitimāre to make lawful). See legitim, -ate1

Related forms
Can be confusedlegitimate legitimize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for legitimate

British Dictionary definitions for legitimate


adjective (lɪˈdʒɪtɪmɪt)

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

verb (lɪˈdʒɪtɪˌmeɪt)

(tr) to make, pronounce, or show to be legitimate
Derived Formslegitimacy or legitimateness, nounlegitimately, adverblegitimation, noun

Word Origin for legitimate

C15: from Medieval Latin lēgitimātus made legal, from lēx law

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 legitimate
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper