verb (used with object), le·git·i·mized, le·git·i·miz·ing.

to make legitimate.

Also especially British, le·git·i·mise.

Origin of legitimize

1840–50; < Latin lēgitim(us) (see legitim) + -ize
Related formsle·git·i·mi·za·tion, noun
Can be confusedlegitimate legitimize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for legitimize

Contemporary Examples of legitimize

Historical Examples of legitimize

  • Very well; I'll legitimize him by marrying the young Clementine.

  • No easy-going doctrines, then, to legitimize vice, says Ozanam.

    How France Built Her Cathedrals

    Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly

  • If the woman has won you round to legitimize the connection, first, I've a proper claim to see her marriage lines.

  • He did not dare ask Charity for a divorce in order that he might legitimize this byblow of his.

  • It is time, if they are well founded, to give a solemn stamp to their certainty, and legitimize their existence.

    The Ruins

    C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

British Dictionary definitions for legitimize


legitimise legitimatize or legitimatise (lɪˈdʒɪtɪməˌtaɪz)


(tr) to make legitimate; legalize
Derived Formslegitimization, legitimisation, legitimatization or legitimatisation, noun
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 legitimize

1795, from Latin legitimus (see legitimate) + -ize. Earlier was legitimatize (1791). Related: Legitimized; legitimizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper