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[li-jit-uh-mahyz] /lɪˈdʒɪt əˌmaɪz/
verb (used with object), legitimized, legitimizing.
to make legitimate.
Also, especially British, legitimise.
Origin of legitimize
1840-50; < Latin lēgitim(us) (see legitim) + -ize
Related forms
legitimization, noun
Can be confused
legitimate, legitimize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for legitimize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Huysmans it was who gently persuaded Villiers to make a deathbed marriage and legitimize his son.

    Iconoclasts James Huneker
  • A wit, or would-be wit, said of him that he postulated God in order to legitimize the powers of Augustin, his deputy.

    The King's Mirror Anthony Hope
  • He did not dare ask Charity for a divorce in order that he might legitimize this byblow of his.

    We Can't Have Everything Rupert Hughes
  • To legitimize this child she arranged a marriage with Marsay, a bankrupt old gentleman of tarnished reputation.

    Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
  • Except as a solemn, sacred rite, there was nothing in our marriage to legitimize our child.

    A Speckled Bird Augusta J. Evans Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for legitimize


(transitive) to make legitimate; legalize
Derived Forms
legitimization, legitimisation, legitimatization, legitimatisation, noun
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 legitimize

1795, from Latin legitimus (see legitimate) + -ize. Earlier was legitimatize (1791). Related: Legitimized; legitimizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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