1. (noun) Political support based on the authority and power of public officials, public policy, and the political structure.
Example: Citizens supporting their government’s decision to go to war with another country.
2. (noun) The rightful exercise of authority, force, and power by a person or group, particularly an institution that commands and demands obedience.
Example: Seat belt laws are legitimate because the police issue citations that are upheld by the courts, based on laws passed by the legislature.
Audio Pronunciation: (le·git·i·ma·cy)
Download Audio Pronunciation: legitimacy.mp3
- Plural: legitimacies
- A (noun) legitimator (verb) legitimizes or (verb) legitimatizes something through the process of (noun) legitimation or (noun) legitimization and provides (noun) legitimateness (adverb) legitimately.
- political system
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Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
How to Cite the Definition of Legitimacy
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “legitimacy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 26, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/legitimacy/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
legitimacy. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/legitimacy/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “legitimacy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 26, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/legitimacy/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“legitimacy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/legitimacy/>.