Date: 1400-1500
Language: Medieval Latin
Origin: , past participle of legitimare 'to legitimize', from Latin legitimus 'legitimate', from lex 'law'


1 adjective
1 fair or reasonable:
That's a perfectly legitimate question.
Most scientists believe it is legitimate to use animals in medical research.
2 acceptable or allowed by law:
Their business operations are perfectly legitimate.
3SSC a legitimate child is born to parents who are legally married to each other [≠ illegitimate]
legitimately adverb:
a legitimately elected government
He complained quite legitimately about his treatment.
legitimacy noun [uncountable]
Opponents have questioned the legitimacy of the ruling.

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