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When considering what a legacy is or might be, it is helpful to make a distinction between living a legacy and leaving a legacy. Living a legacy relates to those actions or values that you can live "into" each day. For example, deciding to practice forgiveness, honesty, respect, courage, perseverance, or generosity in the given day. As you live these qualities day by day, they will generate a series of experiences between you and others. While you may not be able to control the outcome of these contacts, you do have influence over the inputs. As you practice these things over weeks and months and years they become written into the lives of others.

Leaving a legacy may be thought of as something you leave behind after you die. This can be a monetary inheritance or gift, material objects like special books, furniture, jewelry, china. It might also include written or visually recorded reflections by you about highights of your life and relationships, about what you valued, about what you feel is important in life, about your love for those you leave behind.

You may not be able to leave a legacy intentionally but if you live a legacy intentionally, it will be the case that you have left a legacy of great value. Interesting, but perhaps beyond the scope of a dictionary. bd2412 User talk:BD2412 02:54, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree that the unsigned note provided a bit too much context for the dictionary, but there may be something missing from the definition. I'm not sure that "living a legacy" is covered by definition #2 "Something inherited from a predecessor; a heritage." Is the "legacy" in this case "something inherited?" If so, then maybe another example would help. If not, then how do you define that use of "legacy?" Ben 00:29, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Parts of Speech[edit]

Is there a verb, adverb, and antonym for legacy?

How would you use it in a sentence, I can't think of a circumstance where legacy can take on the role of a verb. JamesjiaoTC 06:30, 27 October 2010 (UTC)


What does a "legacy album" mean? A kind of "best of" or one made from previously unreleased recordings when the artist/band is no longer active? --Thrissel 22:46, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

RFV discussion: July 2016–April 2017[edit]

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  • Rfv-sense: (computing) Of a computer system that has been in service for many years and that a business still relies upon, even though it is becoming expensive or difficult to maintain.
  • Rfv-sense: Left behind; old or no longer in active use.

Removed by an anon. Can we demonstrate these senses act as adjectives? While I opposed RFV for the purpose in the past, I don't see what better thing to do; RFD? --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:43, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

How about the following?
  • 2000, International Engineering Consortium, The Emerging Optical Network, ISBN 0933217978, page 75:
    They have no idea what occurs in the network or its topology, and all of the services remain dependent on it — a very legacy approach to creating services in the optical network.
  • 2003, Carlo Zaniolo, ‎Peter C. Lockemann, ‎& Marc H. Scholl, Advances in Database Technology - EDBT 2000, ISBN 3540464395:
    However, pre-relational DBMS are legacy.
  • 2008, CIO - 15 Feb 2008 Vol. 21, No. 9, page 49:
    There was talk in the past that ERP systems were legacy, lacked the agility and flexibility, and did not support interoperability.
  • 2009, Kerrie Meyler, ‎Byron Holt, & ‎Greg Ramsey, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 Unleashed, ISBN 076868952X:
    Because most of these HALs are legacy and only used on aging or outdated hardware, chances are that you do not have any in your lab and must be creative in procuring one from an active user.
  • 2013, Management Association, Software Design and Development, ISBN 1466643021:
    In practice, there are legacy or mature, domain specific, off the shelf (i.e. software that other software projects can reuse and integrate into their own products) tools that are used regularly by modeleres (e.g., for testing purposes, for communication and collaboration).
Kiwima (talk) 02:27, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Using another approach, here, here and here are examples of the phrase "becoming legacy". Although the usage points to probable adjectivity, I think the current definitions aren't very good. It's not just computer systems that can be referred to as legacy: I can find usage for legacy beliefs, culture, institutions, practices, standards and regulations , too. I think it started out in computing and other technology, then spread to a variety of other discipline. I would suggest that we merge both definitions into something simple like "left over from the past". Chuck Entz (talk) 06:32, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Good suggestion. I have made that change, and consider this RFV-passed. Kiwima (talk) 00:30, 26 April 2017 (UTC)