Meaning of “legitimate” in the English Dictionary

"legitimate" in British English

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legitimateadjective

uk /ləˈdʒɪt.ə.mət/ us /ləˈdʒɪt̬.ə.mət/

C2 allowed by law:

The army must give power back to the legitimate government.

C2 reasonable and acceptable:

He claimed that the restaurant bill was a legitimate business expense.

A legitimate child is one whose parents are legally married at the time of his or her birth.

More examples

  • Her passport seemed legitimate, but on closer inspection, it was found to have been altered.
  • They complained about excessive government intrusion into their legitimate activities.
  • Legitimate refugees should be treated with compassion.
  • Her complaints were quite legitimate.
  • He has a legitimate claim to the money.
legitimately
adverb uk /ləˈdʒɪt.ə.mət.li/ us /ləˈdʒɪt̬.ə.mət.li/

Most foreign visitors enter the country legitimately (= legally).

legitimateverb [ T ]

/ləˈdʒɪt.ə.məɪt/ /ləˈdʒɪt̬.ə.məɪt/ also legitimize US

(Definition of “legitimate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"legitimate" in American English

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legitimateadjective

us /ləˈdʒɪt̬·ə·mət/ infml short form legit, /ləˈdʒɪt/

allowed according to law, or reasonable and acceptable:

a legitimate tax deduction
legitimate concerns
legitimacy
noun [ U ] us /ləˈdʒɪt̬·ə·mə·si/

(Definition of “legitimate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"legitimate" in Business English

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legitimateadjective

uk /lɪˈdʒɪtəmət/ us

LAW allowed by law or done according to the rules of an organization or activity:

Defense lawyers argued that such payments are legitimate and customary in newspaper deals.
a legitimate business/company/trader
legitimate expenses/fees

fair and honest:

Concerns relating to employee fraud and other forms of malpractice were acknowledged as being legitimate.
legitimate complaints/questions/reasons
legitimately
adverb

Manufacturers legitimately argued that the ingredients of their products are subject to commercial confidentiality.

(Definition of “legitimate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)