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[Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare to give legal status to, from Latin legitimus legally sanctioned, from leg-, lex law]
1 : conceived or born of parents lawfully married to each other or having been made through legal procedure equal in status to one so conceived or born
: having rights and obligations under the law as the child of such birth
2 : being neither spurious nor false [a grievance]
3 : being in accordance with law or with established legal forms and requirements [a government]
4 : conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards [a claim of entitlement] [a business reason]
[lə-ji-tə-māt] vt -mat·ed
: to make legitimate: as
a : to give legal status or authorization to
b : to show or affirm to be justified or have merit
c : to put (an illegitimate child) in the state of a child born of married parents before the law by legal means compare filiate
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.