Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[il-i-jit-uh-muh-see] /ˌɪl ɪˈdʒɪt ə mə si/
noun, plural illegitimacies.
the state or quality of being illegitimate.
1670-80; illegitim(ate) + -acy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for illegitimacy
  • When the overall illegitimacy rate in this country hits that number, our society will collapse.
  • And those have been tangled up in endless legal problems, all of which project an aura of illegitimacy to the world.
  • But, to tell the truth, there was sod all romantic about our illegitimacy.
  • Desertion and illegitimacy have been with us for a long time and unfortunately may be on the increase.
  • But novelty is hardly to be equated with illegitimacy.
  • Earlier marriage, more illegitimacy, and shorter intervals between births characterized the welfare group.
  • Report of births by place of residence, type of birth, birthweight and illegitimacy.
Word Origin and History for illegitimacy

1670s; see illegitimate + -acy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
illegitimacy in Culture

illegitimacy definition

The condition of being born to unmarried parents. It was once considered a mark of disgrace but is generally more accepted now.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for illegitimacy

status of children begotten and born outside of wedlock. Many statutes either state, or are interpreted to mean, that usually a child born under a void marriage is not illegitimate if his parents clearly believed that they were legally married. Similarly, annulment of a marriage usually does not illegitimize the children.

Learn more about illegitimacy with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for illegitimacy

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for illegitimacy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with illegitimacy