Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

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Main Entry: 1le·git·i·mate
Pronunciation: li-'ji-t&-m&t
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English legitimat, from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare to legitimate, from Latin legitimus legitimate, from leg-, lex law
Date: 15th century
1 a : lawfully begotten; specifically : born in wedlock b : having full filial rights and obligations by birth <a legitimate child>
2 : being exactly as purposed : neither spurious nor false <a legitimate grievance> <a legitimate practitioner>
3 a : accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements <a legitimate government> b : ruling by or based on the strict principle of hereditary right <a legitimate king>
4 : conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards <a legitimate advertising expenditure> <a legitimate inference>
5 : relating to plays acted by professional actors but not including revues, burlesque, or some forms of musical comedy <the legitimate theater>
synonym see LAWFUL
- le·git·i·mate·ly adverb