from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The process of making or declaring a person legitimate.
  • n. Legitimacy.
  • n. The act of establishing something as lawful; authorization.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of making legitimate.
  • n. Lawful birth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of making legal, or of giving a thing the recognition of law.
  • n. The act of rendering legitimate; specifically, the investing of an illegitimate child, or one supposed to be the issue of an illegal marriage, with the rights of one born in lawful wedlock.
  • n. In Germany, etc., proof of identity and of legal permission to reside in a certain place, engage in a certain occupation, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of making lawful
  • n. the act of rendering a person legitimate


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin legitimationem, from lēgitimāre ("to legitimate").


  • By the notion of legitimation I mean that the men and women in the crowd were informed by the belief that they were defending traditional rights or customs; and, in general, that they were supported by the wider consensus of the community.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • He also dismissed Roberts '"legitimation" argument, noting that any speech that defends a group or its cause can help to legitimate the organization.

    Geoffrey R. Stone: 'Material Support' and the First Amendment

  • He also dismissed Roberts'"legitimation" argument, noting that any speech that defends a group or its cause can help to legitimate the organization.

    Geoffrey R. Stone: 'Material Support' and the First Amendment

  • Such legitimation is termed plenior in canon law to distinguish it from the plena legitimation which is granted by papal rescript, and from the plenissima which follows on the radical validation of a marriage (sanatio in radice).

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy

  • In Swedish, it's short for "legitimation," which is the word for "identification," as in I.D. So when you go to the liquor store, they ask to see your "leg."

    thing-a-day 2010

  • The situation is not a battle between religion and non-religion, but as the revolutionary Iranian sociologist Ali Shariati once suggested, a struggle between two different forms of religion: one of 'legitimation' and one of 'revolution'; the struggle of a religion of freedom and liberty against a religion of despotism, fanaticism and violence; a religion of oppressors against that of the oppressed.

    The Full Feed from

  • In different contexts, courts have sometimes led the public ( "legitimation"), sometimes produced a backlash, and sometimes polarized the public on an issue even if no aggregate shift in attitudes can be discerned.

    Libertarian Blog Place

  • 'legitimation' and, with it, the rationale for research altogether - esp. in disciplines pertaining to human life, society and meaning.

    CHE > Latest news

  • Well, apparently, any positive attention paid to mothers, any social legitimation of motherhood, amounts to a delegitimation of the choice to not have children.

    It’s My Motherhood, And I’ll Celebrate It If I Want To | Her Bad Mother

  • Once you govern, you have to govern everybody - that's when legitimation concerns kick in.

    Clay Shirky on 'mass internet collaboration' at London's ICA


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.