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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
an illegitimate baby (=born to an unmarried mother)
▪ The number of illegitimate babies is rising.
▪ By defining the conquest as the origin story, and then by portraying it as illegitimate, Royce took a considerable risk.
▪ Between 1977 and 1987 illegitimate births increased from 55,400 to 158,400; 76 percent of this increase was in jointly registered births.
▪ We are beginning to see what happens when Church teaching is ignored: illegitimate births, suicide, depression, divorce.
▪ It also ranks highly in terms of total fertility, illegitimate births and the number of elderly people.
▪ Symkyn's father-in-law is the village parson, which means, of course, that Symkyn's wife is of illegitimate birth.
▪ It is unmarried women in their late 20s who have the highest risk of illegitimate birth.
▪ In the early 1970s the normal response to a pre-marital conception was marriage; abortion or illegitimate birth were less favoured alternatives.
▪ In the 1980s abortion or illegitimate birth have been the most likely outcomes.
▪ Though not under a legal liability to maintain his illegitimate child, the father is under a moral duty to do so.
▪ Men separated from their women father illegitimate children.
▪ If a widow had an illegitimate child, outdoor relief was likely to be stopped altogether.
▪ Also patron of illegitimate children and medical social workers.
▪ Celie's loss is that of her illegitimate children.
▪ Lately he had taken an interest in a younger woman who had borne an illegitimate child and been abandoned by her lover.
▪ The presence of an illegitimate child to that elder brother had been kept a dark secret.
▪ When he died aged 85, his young mistress and 10 illegitimate children inherited his money.
▪ During that time Clint openly lived with blonde Sondra and fathered an illegitimate daughter Kimber in 1964.
▪ He died in 1574, leaving the property to his illegitimate daughter Hester, who married Lord Wooton.
▪ During the interview, he also addressed allegations that he has an illegitimate daughter.
▪ Francis's illegitimate daughter, Anna, was there with her boyfriend.
▪ In 1994 the magazine published pictures of President Franc ois Mitterrand's illegitimate daughter.
▪ She too had brought an illegitimate daughter to the union, and died giving birth to Godwin's own daughter Mary.
▪ Harry's oblique reappearance comes in the form of his illegitimate daughter Annabelle.
▪ A few days after they had learnt that Haroun was the illegitimate son of Jazali an extraordinary thing had happened.
▪ He also had an illegitimate son, Chrysippus.
▪ His illegitimate son Cesare had difficulty in being accepted for the priesthood until granted dispensation.
▪ Another uncle, Ignacio, offers to take Manuel Gustavo on as his own illegitimate son.
▪ The illegitimate son of a maidservant, Frank Roberts was born at Edinburgh in 1915.
▪ We refer, of course, to the existence of her illegitimate son.
▪ He never married, but had an illegitimate son, Hezekiah Knowles.
▪ Some of them pretend they're the illegitimate sons of noblemen, and some of them pretend some one else did the murder.
▪ an illegitimate child
▪ Many of these insurance claims are illegitimate.
▪ In 1960, 2 percent of white births and 22 percent of black births were illegitimate.
▪ In a Newcastle study, more than 70 percent of first illegitimate pregnancies were followed by another.
▪ In the mid-1980s, about one-third of first births are illegitimate as was discussed in chapter 3.
▪ John F.. Kennedy won by a hair and under questionable circumstances, yet his presidency was never considered illegitimate.
▪ Trying artificially to separate politics and management, or treat the former as an illegitimate intrusion, is naive.
▪ We're not peppering the world with illegitimate children.
▪ We refer, of course, to the existence of her illegitimate son.
▪ Yet he made no attempt to harass the driver into any illegitimate speed.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Illegitimate \Il`le*git"i*mate\, a.

  1. Not according to law; not regular or authorized; unlawful; improper.

  2. Unlawfully begotten; born out of wedlock; bastard; as, an illegitimate child.

  3. Not legitimately deduced or inferred; illogical; as, an illegitimate inference.

  4. Not authorized by good usage; not genuine; spurious; as, an illegitimate word.

    Illegitimate fertilization, or Illegitimate union (Bot.), the fertilization of pistils by stamens not of their own length, in heterogonously dimorphic and trimorphic flowers.


Illegitimate \Il`le*git"i*mate\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Illegitimated; p. pr. & vb. n. Illegitimating.] To render illegitimate; to declare or prove to be born out of wedlock; to bastardize; to illegitimatize.

The marriage should only be dissolved for the future, without illegitimating the issue.
--Bp. Burnet.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1530s, "born out of wedlock," formed in English (and replacing earlier illegitime, c.1500), modeled on 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).


a. 1 illegal; against the law. 2 Born to unmarried parents. 3 illogical; incorrectly deduced. 4 Not authorized by good usage; not genuine; spurious. 5 (context botany English) Involving the fertilization of pistils by stamens not of their own length, in heterogonously dimorphic and trimorphic flowers.

  1. adj. contrary to or forbidden by law; "an illegitimate seizure of power"; "illicit trade"; "an outlaw strike"; "unlawful measures" [syn: illicit, outlaw(a), outlawed, unlawful]

  2. of marriages and offspring; not recognized as lawful [ant: legitimate]


n. the illegitimate offspring of unmarried parents [syn: bastard, by-blow, love child, illegitimate child, whoreson]

Usage examples of "illegitimate".

Leon Battista Alberti, the illegitimate offspring of a powerful and wealthy Florentine family, who would soon become the greatest theorist and popularizer of the new art.

Born in 1404, the illegitimate but favored son of a family of rich Florentine merchants, Alberti enjoyed extraordinary intellectual and athletic aptitudes.

It adopts the standard Aristophanic pattern in which an unofficial hero, a marginal member of society, undertakes an illegitimate and metaphoric plot by virtue of which he will not only triumph personally but perversely correct the central social problem that regular, non-comedic society has been unable to solve.

Atahualpa is said by Sarmiento and Yamqui Pachacuti to have been an illegitimate son of Huayna Ccapac by Tocto Coca his cousin, of the ayllu of Pachacuti.

He brooded on the fact that the perfidious Bacheet, that illegitimate son of a Beja father and a Galla pleasure dancer, was under no restrictions as to his nocturnal movements.

THE MEMOIRS OF JACQUES CASANOVA CHAPTER I My Family Pedigree--My Childhood Don Jacob Casanova, the illegitimate son of Don Francisco Casanova, was a native of Saragosa, the capital of Aragon, and in the year of 1428 he carried off Dona Anna Palofax from her convent, on the day after she had taken the veil.

Their compradore was the enormously wealthy Gordon Chen, the illegitimate son of their founder, Dirk Struan, by one of his many mistresses, though not the last, the fabled May-may.

And then imagine, quite plausibly, that at the center of this world moves an illegitimate mulatto woman, and that this woman, Cynara, Cinnamon, or Cindy- beautiful and brown- gets to tell her story.

Some say that at the time of his death, or a short time before, he had nominated one of his illegitimate sons to succeed him named Ccapac Huari, son of a concubine whose name was Chuqui Ocllo.

It is not denied that there may be cases in which a respect to the general principles of liberty, the essential rights of the people, or the overruling sentiments of humanity, might require a government, whether new or old, to be treated as an illegitimate despotism.

Aunadar and the entire Bleth clan-every last high-nosed noble and illegitimate woodchopper among them, back to the dawn days of the kingdom.

Aunadar and the entire Bleth clanevery last high-nosed noble and illegitimate woodchopper among them, back to the dawn days of the kingdom.

June 15, the provincial legislature of New Jersey had ordered the arrest of its royal governor, William Franklin, the estranged, illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, and authorized its delegates in Congress to vote for independence.

Sugar House mobsters often picked up additional income by extorting money out of both legitimate and illegitimate neighborhood businesses.

The empress did not practise the sublime virtue of tolerance for what is called illegitimate love, and in her excessive devotion she thought that her persecutions of the most natural inclinations in man and woman were very agreeable to God.