Legacy | Definition of Legacy by Merriam-Webster

legacy

noun
leg·​a·​cy | \ ˈle-gə-sē How to pronounce legacy (audio) \
plural legacies

Definition of legacy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest She left us a legacy of a million dollars.
2 : something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past the legacy of the ancient philosophers The war left a legacy of pain and suffering.
3 : a candidate for membership in an organization (such as a school or fraternal order) who is given special status because of a familial relationship to a member Legacies, or children of alumni, are three times more likely to be accepted to Harvard than other high school graduates with the same (sometimes better) scores …— Michael Lind

legacy

adjective

Definition of legacy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being a previous or outdated computer system transfer the legacy data a legacy system
2 : of, relating to, associated with, or carried over from an earlier time, technology, business, etc. And it is about more than just TV—newspapers, magazines, radio, all the "legacy" media are feeling the earth move beneath them. Journalists look out and see thousands of empty campus TV lounges and newsprint-less recycling bins and millions of iPads and smart phones and they wonder what's coming next.— Dante Chinni Following ISG's takeover, 100,000 Bethlehem retirees and their dependents also lost their medical coverage, and they will get only a fraction of their original pension benefits. Avoiding those expenses, known as legacy costs, will save ISG more than $400 million a year.— Nelson D. Schwartz

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Did You Know?

In its basic meaning, a legacy is a gift of money or other personal property that's granted by the terms of a will—often a substantial gift that needs to be properly managed. But the word is used much more broadly as well. So, for instance, much of Western civilization—law, philosophy, aesthetics— could be called the undying legacy of ancient Greece. And the rights and opportunities that women enjoy today are partly the legacy of the early suffragists and feminists.

Examples of legacy in a Sentence

Noun She left us a legacy of a million dollars. He left his children a legacy of love and respect. The war left a legacy of pain and suffering. Her artistic legacy lives on through her children.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But this also further emphasizes the identification of the princess-daughter with the father and his legacy and goals for her life — both individually and on a collective, patriarchal level. Jeanna Kadlec, Longreads, "Deconstructing Disney: Motherhood and the Taming of Maleficent," 8 Oct. 2020 Once an iconic blue-chip company, IBM’s star has faded over the years as its legacy in mainframe computing and IT services fell behind while newer technology firms like Amazon swooped in to dominate the emerging cloud-computing market. Olivia Carville, Bloomberg.com, "IBM to Spin Off Legacy IT Business, Pegging Future on Cloud," 8 Oct. 2020 An obituary on Monday about the pioneering suffragist, scholar and educator Lucy Diggs Slowe erroneously included a school in Washington among the existing sites honoring her legacy. New York Times, "Corrections: Oct. 8, 2020," 7 Oct. 2020 Another legend gone but his legacy of a beautiful voice and music will live on. Sonia Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Fans react to death of Houston native Johnny Nash, known for 'I Can See Clearly Now'," 7 Oct. 2020 James knows what’s at stake for his legacy, the Lakers franchise and his teammates, especially Anthony Davis, who is seeking his first title. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: LeBron James seizes moment in 'winning time' to put Lakers on brink of championship," 7 Oct. 2020 In eulogizing the Restaurant at Meadowood, former employees and local fine dining chefs are exploring a range of emotions regarding its lasting legacy. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "The Restaurant at Meadowood pushed chefs for brilliance — some say at a human cost," 6 Oct. 2020 Drawing on newspaper articles, political speeches, letters, and diaries, George critically re-examines the event of JFK’s death and its persistent political and cultural legacy. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Elaine de Kooning’s Portrait of JFK Broke All the Rules," 6 Oct. 2020 The outcome of Game 4 could hinge on whether Butler can continue his remarkable bubble run and prop up the injury-riddled Heat or whether Lakers star LeBron James comes out motivated to cement his legacy (more on that below). oregonlive, "Ranking Portland as NBA free agent destination, Doc joins 76ers, Meyers Leonard’s anthem education, Jimmy Butler’s bonding brew: Playoffs news and notes," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Legacy outdoor companies like Patagonia are selling food now, as are upstart outfits like Good to-Go, a Maine company that Jennifer Scism, 52, a chef and former partner at the acclaimed New York restaurant Annisa, started in 2014. Kim Severson, New York Times, "Upscale Food and Gear Bring Campsite Cooking Out of the Wild," 26 June 2017 Legacy coach Christopher Word isn’t at all surprised by Powers’ success. Shawn Smajstrla, star-telegram, "Mansfield Legacy golf standout remains hot in summer play," 21 June 2017 Legacy students whose parents are alumni and who contribute a lot of money to the college? Gerald Bradshaw, Post-Tribune, "Colleges look for students who can make an impact," 10 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of legacy

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1984, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for legacy

Noun and Adjective

Middle English legacie office of a legate, bequest, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, office of a legate, from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus

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Time Traveler for legacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of legacy was in the 15th century

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Statistics for legacy

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

Legacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legacy. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for legacy

legacy

noun
How to pronounce legacy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of legacy

: something (such as property or money) that is received from someone who has died
: something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past

legacy

noun
leg·​a·​cy | \ ˈle-gə-sē How to pronounce legacy (audio) \
plural legacies

Kids Definition of legacy

1 : property (as money) left to a person by a will
2 : something (as memories or knowledge) that comes from the past or a person of the past the poet's legacy

legacy

noun
leg·​a·​cy | \ ˈle-gə-sē How to pronounce legacy (audio) \
plural legacies

Legal Definition of legacy

: a gift of property by will specifically : a gift of personal property by will : bequest — see also ademption — compare devise
conjoint legacy
in the civil law of Louisiana : a legacy by a single disposition to more than one legatee or of indivisible property to more than one legatee
demonstrative legacy \ di-​ˈmän-​strə-​tiv-​ \
: a legacy payable from a designated fund or asset or from the general assets of the estate to the extent the specified fund or asset fails to satisfy the legacy
general legacy
: a legacy payable out of the general assets of the estate
legacy under a universal title
in the civil law of Louisiana : a legacy that consists of a specified proportion (as one-half), a specified type (as movables), or a specified proportion of a specified type of the testator's property
particular legacy
in the civil law of Louisiana : any legacy that is not a universal legacy or a legacy under a universal title

called also legacy under particular title

residuary legacy
: a legacy that consists of all of the testator's estate which has not been distributed through other legacies or charges upon the estate
specific legacy
: a legacy payable only from a specific fund or asset in the estate
universal legacy
in the civil law of Louisiana : a legacy by which a testator gives to one or more legatees all of his or her property at the time of death

History and Etymology for legacy

Medieval Latin legatio, from Latin legare to bequeath

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Comments on legacy

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