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

Usage Notes:

  • 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.

Related Terms: