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[li-jit-uh-mahyz] /lɪˈdʒɪt əˌmaɪz/
verb (used with object), legitimized, legitimizing.
to make legitimate.
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
  • They believe farming would only enlarge the market for animal parts and legitimize the chain of demand and supply.
  • The extra coin could go a long way to legitimize web entertainment.
  • The growing culture of silence helps to legitimize witness intimidation.
  • But make no mistake: its system does not legitimize autocracy or command economics, either.
  • Prison sentence could make him a martyr to other extremists and partially legitimize his actions, insanity does not.
  • Popular opinion cannot legitimize an objective truth, but on the contrary only one's opinion can form a subjective one.
  • Addressing the rumor at this stage, he and others felt, merely appeared to legitimize it.
  • Attempts to legitimize this practice disparage the rule of law.
  • Brutal conditions at home legitimize domination abroad.
  • District policies that support service-learning can legitimize the practice of service-learning as a key component of education.
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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