legitimate[-mət; for v., -māt′]
- The definition of legitimate is within the rules, correct or accepted as proper. It also refers to a person whose parents are married when he or she is born.
- An example of a legitimate idea is one that is accepted and that scientists can prove.
- An example of a legitimate child is someone born to married parents.
- conceived or born of parents legally married to each other
- sanctioned by law or custom; lawful: a legitimate claim
- conforming to or abiding by the law
- ruling by the rights of heredity: a legitimate king
- reasonable; logically correct: a legitimate inference
- justifiable or justified
- conforming to or in accordance with established rules, standards, principles
- Theater designating or of professionally produced stage plays, as distinguished from films, vaudeville, etc.
Origin of legitimateMedieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare, to make lawful ; from Classical Latin legitimus, lawful ; from lex: see legal
- a. Being in compliance with the law; lawful: a legitimate business.b. Being in accordance with established or accepted rules and standards: legitimate advertising practices.c. Valid or justifiable: a legitimate complaint.d. Based on logical reasoning: a legitimate deduction.
- Born of legally married parents: legitimate offspring.
- Of, relating to, or ruling by hereditary right: a legitimate monarch.
- Of or relating to drama of high professional quality that excludes burlesque, vaudeville, and some forms of musical comedy: the legitimate theater.
transitive verble·git·i·mat·ed, le·git·i·mat·ing, le·git·i·mates
Origin of legitimateMiddle English legitimat, born in wedlock, from Medieval Latin lēgitimātus, law-worthy, past participle of lēgitimāre, to make lawful, from Latin lēgitimus, legitimate, from lēx, lēg-, law; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more legitimate, superlative most legitimate)
- In accordance with the law or established legal forms and requirements; lawful.
- Conforming to known principles, or established or accepted rules or standards; valid.
- legitimate reasoning; a legitimate standard or method
- Authentic, real, genuine.
- legitimate poems of Chaucer; legitimate inscriptions
- Lawfully begotten, i.e., born to a legally married couple.
- Relating to hereditary rights.
(third-person singular simple present legitimates, present participle legitimating, simple past and past participle legitimated)
- To make legitimate, lawful, or valid; especially, to put in the position or state of a legitimate person before the law, by legal means.
From Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimo (“make legal”).