Definition of legitimacy in English:



mass noun
  • 1Conformity to the law or to rules.

    ‘refusal to recognize the legitimacy of both governments’
    • ‘Boyle, of course, continues to uphold the rules of international legitimacy.’
    • ‘In political terms, participation is recognized as one way of imbuing decisions with greater legitimacy.’
    • ‘Refusing to enter a plea or to appoint legal counsel, he challenged the legality and legitimacy of the war crimes tribunal.’
    • ‘This creates a question of legitimacy which causes the Justices to scrounge for support.’
    • ‘The legitimacy of local government was also occasionally called into question in the late 1980s and 1990s, though again by no means without precedent.’
    • ‘America claimed for its institutions superior legitimacy and for its people a clear moral pre-eminence.’
    • ‘The legality and legitimacy of that action must be subject to judicial review.’
    • ‘This gets to the heart of legitimacy in rule making and the governance of the IMF.’
    • ‘Since regulative legitimacy is based on conforming to a minimum set of standards, it is referred to as the conformance level of legitimacy.’
    • ‘He is also in a unique legal position to question the Law Society's legitimacy.’
    • ‘It provides the royal family with the necessary religious legitimacy to rule a conservative society.’
    • ‘This may be because tests of recognition of legitimacy do not easily form part of either legal or, even, political analysis.’
    • ‘She seems to suggest that the process by which approval was given for the Barbican complex lacked legitimacy.’
    • ‘However, it is the leader's moral principles and integrity that give legitimacy and credibility to the vision and sustain it.’
    • ‘The legitimacy of the judicial process alone demands as much.’
    • ‘Law thus comes to embody, in equal measure, both political legitimacy and moral persuasiveness.’
    • ‘Leadership depends on legitimacy, and legitimacy requires consistency.’
    • ‘Democracies sometimes stagger into problems whose solution stretches and even breaks the normal rules of democratic legitimacy.’
    • ‘Destruction was not an act of religious fanaticism but an act to show that the ruler was unable to protect the temple of his own deity and so lost all legitimacy to rule.’
    • ‘Thus legal regulation alone will always be inadequate to secure legitimacy and genuine consent.’
    1. 1.1 (with reference to a child) the quality of being legitimate.
      ‘disputes over the legitimacy of heirs’
  • 2Ability to be defended with logic or justification; validity.

    ‘it is difficult to judge the legitimacy of the rumour’
    • ‘Her justification for the legitimacy of astrology as a valid science went something like this.’
    • ‘The protectors of pornography have arguments and principles; the status quo supports the validity and legitimacy of their world view.’
    • ‘His more modest aim is that of criticizing the claim that science has a monopoly on truth by defending the legitimacy of experiences of truth which do not depend on and are even distorted by method.’
    validity, justification, soundness, well-foundedness, legitimateness, reasonableness
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