Etymology
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Words related to legitimate

legal (adj.)

mid-15c. "of or pertaining to the law," from Old French légal "legal" (14c.) or directly from Latin legalis "pertaining to the law," from lex (genitive legis) "an enactment; a precept, regulation, principle, rule; formal proposition for a law, motion, bill; a contract, arrangement, contrivance." This probably is related to legere "to gather," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')." Perhaps the noun is from the verb on the notion of "a collection of rules," but de Vaan seems to imply that the evolution is the reverse:

The verb legare and its compounds all have a meaning which involves a 'task, assignment,' and can therefore be interpreted as derivatives of lex 'law.' The [Proto-Italic] root noun *leg- 'law' can be interpreted as a 'collection' of rules. Whether the root noun existed already in PIE is uncertain for lack of precise cognates.

Sense of "permitted by law" is from 1640s. Related: Legally. Not etymologically related to law (n.), q.v. The usual Old French form was leial, loial (see leal, loyal). Legal tender "money which the creditor is bound by law to accept" is from 1740 (see tender (n.2)). A legal holiday (1867) is one established by statute or proclamation and during which government business is usually suspended.

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illegitimate (adj.)
1530s, "born out of wedlock," formed in English (and replacing earlier illegitime, c. 1500), modeled on Late Latin illegitimus "not legitimate" (see il- + legitimate). Sense of "unauthorized, unwarranted" is from 1640s. Phrase illegitimi non carborundum, usually "translated" as "don't let the bastards grind you down," is fake Latin (by 1965, said to date from c. 1939). Carborundum was a brand of abrasives. Related: Illegitimately.
*leg- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak" on the notion of "to gather words, to pick out words."

It forms all or part of: alexia; analects; analogous; analogue; analogy; anthology; apologetic; apologue; apology; catalogue; coil; colleague; collect; college; collegial; Decalogue; delegate; dialect; dialogue; diligence; doxology; dyslexia; eclectic; eclogue; elect; election; epilogue; hapax legomenon; homologous; horology; ideologue; idiolect; intelligence; lectern; lectio difficilior; lection; lector; lecture; leech (n.2) "physician;" legacy; legal; legate; legend; legible; legion; legislator; legitimate; lesson; lexicon; ligneous; ligni-; logarithm; logic; logistic; logo-; logogriph; logopoeia; Logos; -logue; -logy; loyal; monologue; neglect; neologism; philology; privilege; prolegomenon; prologue; relegate; sacrilege; select; syllogism; tautology; trilogy.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek legein "to say, tell, speak, declare; to count," originally, in Homer, "to pick out, select, collect, enumerate;" lexis "speech, diction;" logos "word, speech, thought, account;" Latin legere "to gather, choose, pluck; read," lignum "wood, firewood," literally "that which is gathered," legare "to depute, commission, charge," lex "law" (perhaps "collection of rules"); Albanian mb-ledh "to collect, harvest;" Gothic lisan "to collect, harvest," Lithuanian lesti "to pick, eat picking;" Hittite less-zi "to pick, gather."

legit (adj.)
colloquial shortening of legitimate (adj.), 1897, originally in theater, in reference to legitimate drama, that which has literary merit (Shakespeare, etc., etc.).
legitimacy (n.)
"state of being legitimate" in any sense, 1690s of children, 1812 of kings and governments, general use by 1836; see legitimate (adj.) + -cy. Legitimateness (1610s) is an earlier word for it. Middle English had legitimation (mid-15c.).
legitimation (n.)

mid-15c., legitimacion, "official declaration of legitimacy," from Old French légitimation and directly from Medieval Latin legitimationem (nominative legitimatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of legitimare "make lawful, declare to be lawful" (see legitimate (adj.)).

legitimism (n.)
"insistence upon legitimacy," 1849, from French légitimisme (1834); see legitimate (adj.) + -ism. In 19c. especially with reference to French or Spanish politics and conservative adherence to "legitimate" claimants to the throne.
legitimist (n.)
1841, from French légitimiste (1830), from légitime "legitimate," from legitimer (see legitimate (adj.)). A supporter of "legitimate" authority, in France, after 1830, especially of supporters of the elder Bourbon line (in opposition to that of the Orleans family).
legitimize (v.)
1795, from Latin legitimus "lawful" (see legitimate (adj.)) + -ize. Earlier were legitimatize (1791), legitimate (1590s). Related: Legitimized; legitimizing; legitimization.