Definition of illegitimacy in US English:



  • 1The state of not being in accordance with accepted standards or rules; lack of authorization by the law.

    ‘she talks with anger about the illegitimacy of the election’
    • ‘She spoke of the illegitimacy of their actions.’
    • ‘Either side would be grumbling today about illegitimacy had the other won.’
    • ‘This increases yet further the illegitimacy of this government to govern.’
    • ‘Cannabis is mainly used in excess because of the buzz of illegitimacy.’
    • ‘There seems a persistent air of illegitimacy about the genre.’
    • ‘They also launched media campaigns accusing the government of illegitimacy and totalitarian intentions.’
    • ‘Ideologists analyzing the war focus on its illegitimacy.’
    • ‘We need to identify moral resources for recognizing the illegitimacy of such demands.’
    • ‘An even deeper problem than the perceived illegitimacy of privatization was its frequent irrelevance.’
    • ‘We've heard from consumers about the illegitimacy of pirated software.’
  • 2The state of being born to parents not lawfully married to each other.

    ‘the citizens refuse to believe Buckingham's stories about the princes' illegitimacy’
    as modifier ‘the illegitimacy rate’
    • ‘In his day, the stigma of illegitimacy marked such children.’
    • ‘Despite his illegitimacy, he declared William his successor.’
    • ‘Until roughly the beginning of the eighteenth century, the illegitimacy ratio was 4 percent or less.’
    • ‘The national illegitimacy rate soared.’
    • ‘The citizens refuse to believe his stories about the princes' illegitimacy.’
    • ‘Illegitimacy was no longer stigmatized and unmarried mothers were given all the rights of married women.’
    • ‘Because the school required proof of birth, her illegitimacy was well-known to both the faculty and students.’
    • ‘It had a twenty percent illegitimacy rate in 1993.’
    • ‘Infants might be abandoned for a number of reasons, including illegitimacy.’
    • ‘The illegitimacy ratio in the late 1990s was 33 percent.’