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[mass noun] Support for a sovereign or pretender whose claim to a throne is based on direct descent:‘Jacobite propaganda repeated the principles of Stuart legitimism’
- ‘In the face of the Jane Grey débâcle, the Norfolk gentry were persuaded of her Tudor legitimism; they learned the extent of her Catholicism only after she was safely enthroned at Westminster.’
- ‘The milieu of moderate liberalism certainly shaped Tocqueville's views on the inevitability of the democratic revolution, and hence his decisive break with legitimism and his family.’
Late 19th century: from French légitimisme, from légitime, from Latin legitimus (see legitimate).
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