noun, plural legacies.
Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.
of or pertaining to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.

1325–75; Middle English legacie office of a deputy or legate < Medieval Latin lēgātia. See legate, -acy

1, 2. inheritance.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
legacy (ˈlɛɡəsɪ)
n , pl -cies
1.  a gift by will, esp of money or personal property
2.  something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor
3.  (modifier) surviving computer systems, hardware, or software: legacy network; legacy application
[C14 (meaning: office of a legate), C15 (meaning: bequest): from Medieval Latin lēgātia commission; see legate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "body of persons sent on a mission," from O.Fr. legacie "legate's office," from M.L. legatia, from L. legatus "ambassador, envoy," noun use of pp. of legare "appoint by a last will, send as a legate" (see legate). Sense of "property left by will" appeared in Scot. c.1460.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

legacy definition

legacy system

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in law, generally a gift of property by will or testament. The term is used to denote the disposition of either personal or real property in the event of death.

Learn more about legacy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
IT is certain the law does not allow a corporate city to inherit any estate by
  will, or to receive a legacy.
She died whilst she was engaged in the work of arranging her poems for press,
  so that they are in the truest sense her legacy.
It is this idea of universality that is the true legacy of the scientific
How wonderful to have a legacy so linked to the idea of freedom.
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