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.
2. Born of legally married parents: legitimate offspring.
3. Of, relating to, or ruling by hereditary right: a legitimate monarch.
4. Of or relating to drama of high professional quality that excludes burlesque, vaudeville, and some forms of musical comedy: the legitimate theater.
tr.v. (-māt′) le·git·i·mat·ed, le·git·i·mat·ing, le·git·i·mates
[Middle 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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
le·giti·mat′or (-māt′ər) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.