legitimate

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le·git·i·mate • adj. / liˈjitəmit/ conforming to the law or to rules: his claims to legitimate authority. ∎  able to be defended with logic or justification: a legitimate excuse for being late. ∎  (of a child) born of parents lawfully married to each other. ∎  (of a sovereign) having a title based on strict hereditary right: the last legitimate Anglo-Saxon king. ∎  constituting or relating to serious drama as distinct from musical comedy, revue, etc.: the legitimate theater. • v. / -ˌmāt/ [tr.] make legitimate; justify or make lawful: the regime was not legitimated by popular support. DERIVATIVES: le·git·i·ma·cy / -məsē/ n. le·git·i·mate·ly / -mitlē/ adv. le·git·i·ma·tion / liˌjitəˈmāshən/ n. le·git·i·ma·tize / -məˌtīz/ v.

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legitimate lawfully begotten XV; lawful, regular XVII. — medL. lēgitimātūs, pp. of lēgitimāre declare to be lawful, legitimize, f. L. lēgitimus, f. lēx, lēg— law.
So legitimate vb. XVI, legitimation XV. See -ATE2, -ATE3, legitimist XIX. — F. (political party). legitimize XIX. f. L.

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LEGITIMATE

To make lawful, such as when a child is born prior to the parents' marriage and they subsequently wed and thereby confer upon the child the same legal status as those born in lawful wedlock.

That which is lawful, legal, recognized by law, or in accordance with law, such as legitimate children or legitimate authority; real, valid, or genuine.

cross-references

Illegitimacy.

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