Legacy Meaning: Here’s What it Means and How to Use it?

Wondering about the meaning of legacy? If so, you’re in the right place! Read on to learn the word legacy’s definition, origin, synonyms, and more.

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You may have heard the word legacy before, but do you know what it means? If you’re a little confused, the Word Counter has got you covered.

Read on as we explore the term legacy to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, and more. By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of the word legacy and feel comfortable using it in a sentence. Are you ready?

Let’s get into it!

What Is the Definition of Legacy? 

You may think you know the meaning of a legacy, but what if I were to tell you it has a wide variety of definitions and that it can be used as an adjective as well as a noun? 

Don’t believe us? Then check out these definitions provided to you a few trusted English language dictionaries listed below:

  • Cambridge Engish Dictionary defines legacy as something that is a result of events in the past (e.g., the bitter legacy of a civil war.)
  • According to Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, legacy can be defined as any amount of money or even property that is left to someone via their last will and testament. 
  • The Lexico Dictionary tells us that the word legacy can be used in the technology world as well. Legacy defined here is in reference to hardware or software that has been superseded but, due to its wide use, is difficult to replace. 

As we briefly touched on before, legacy, while primarily used as a noun, can also be used as an adjective when placed in front of a noun. Look at a legacy system, for example, used here in relation to an outdated computer system or outdated computer hardware.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Legacy?

Antonyms and synonyms can help us to better understand the definition of a word, all while helping us avoid repetitive usage of that word in all the various forms of conversation. 

There are a wide variety of words that a person can use in place of the word legacy; these words are known as synonyms. A synonym is a word that has the same or similar meaning to its original word. See how many of the synonyms you can pinpoint in the list provided below!

  • Birthright
  • Patrimony
  • Bequest
  • Heritage
  • Memorandum
  • Souvenir
  • Delirium tremens
  • Inheritance
  • Benefaction
  • Bequeathal
  • Testator
  • Settlement
  • Tradition
  • Eulogy
  • Will
  • Aftermath
  • Estate
  • Body of work
  • Heirloom
  • Endowment
  • Bestowal
  • Effect
  • Benefaction
  • Gift
  • Consequence
  • Piece de resistance

With all that being said, there are also numerous different words that mean the opposite of legacy. These words are known as antonyms, and we can use these to help expand our knowledge of the English Language. 

Below you will find a list of antonyms for legacy:

  • Dispossession
  • Disclamation
  • New
  • Outstanding payment
  • Liability
  • Non-inheritance
  • Current
  • Disclaimer
  • Renouncement
  • Latest
  • Poverty
  • Whole
  • Debt
  • Commencement
  • Debenture
  • Fresh
  • Abnegation
  • Abdication
  • Financial obligation
  • Divestiture
  • Rejection

How Can Legacy Be Used in a Sentence?

Since the word legacy can either be used as a noun or adjective, it can be used in a wide variety of sentences. Now that we understand the meaning behind the word legacy, let’s review a few example sentences:

Did you hear that Nancy was left a legacy of over a million dollars?

He may not have been the most financially stable individual, but he left his children a legacy of respect, love, and admiration.

She left her kids a legacy of love and a gift of prosperity.

He asks his father to leave behind a legacy for their co-workers.

I am not too sure about the amount of time I have left on this great big ball of gas, but I’d consider it a huge victory if I could leave behind some kind of legacy for my family.

It was clear to everyone that the war had left a legacy of pain and suffering for all involved.

It was clear as day that Charlie’s artistic legacy was going to live on through her children.

Honestly, at the rate you are going, your legacy will be nothing but Jimmy Choos.

Sir, you are aware that legacy applications will not be supported when the company moves to this new system, right?

If you are not careful, your legacy of hatred will continue long after you are gone. 

Were you aware that much of what we know as Western Civilization can aptly be described as the undying legacy of ancient Greece? 

The legacy of early feminists and suffragists alike are those we really need to thank for the opportunities that we can enjoy today.

The History of the Word Legacy

As we discover the meaning and proper uses of legacy, it is beneficial to talk about its etymology or the history behind the word. By studying a word’s history, we can learn the ins and outs of its definition.

With its earliest known use as a noun in the late 14th century, deriving from Middle English legacie meaning office of a deputy or legate meaning bequest. These come from the 15th century Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus and Old French legacie


In conclusion, the most basic of meanings for legacy is that of a gift of money or some form of personal property that is granted to another by the terms of a will.  

The adjective (or noun) legacy has an additional and much broader definition when it refers to things that are the results of past events. Legacy — pronounced ˈleɡ·ə·si — is something that is handed down to us from past generations and ancestors alike. 

If you’d like to enhance your spoken vocabulary by learning about interesting words like legacy, simply check out our website where you can discover new terminology today!


  1. What is another word for legacy? | Word Hippo
  2. LEGACY | definition in | Cambridge English Dictionary
  3. LEGACY English Definition and Meaning | Lexico.com
  4. legacy | Oxford Learners Dictionaries