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[leg-uh-see] /ˈlɛg ə si/
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of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for legacies
  • Their children and grandchildren are here and their legacies: in buildings and businesses or in the town's collective memory.
  • In it are many considerable legacies to churches and monasteries.
  • Yet their legacies are all around us, in the foundations of the modern world.
  • Discord over such names often stems from legacies of colonialism and nationalism.
  • He has collected hundreds of songs, some of which were gleaned from the legacies of traveling harpers and their disciples.
  • We believe that it does matter, and that both of our parents' good legacies have been damaged.
  • One of the fire's legacies is a scarred, deforested mountainside that dominates the view to the north.
  • These forebears are long dead but they left several unexpectedly important legacies that are evident in their modern descendants.
  • Historically, colleges and universities have built their legacies around a four-year curriculum.
  • No legacy admissions, once you start having legacies.
British Dictionary definitions for legacies


noun (pl) -cies
a gift by will, esp of money or personal property
something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor
(modifier) surviving computer systems, hardware, or software: legacy network, legacy application
Word Origin
C14 (meaning: office of a legate), C15 (meaning: bequest): from Medieval Latin lēgātia commission; see legate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for legacies



late 14c., "body of persons sent on a mission," from Old French legatie "legate's office," from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus "ambassador, envoy," noun use of past participle of legare "appoint by a last will, send as a legate" (see legate). Sense of "property left by will" appeared in Scottish mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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