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Borrowed from Old French legacie, from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin lēgātum.



legacy (plural legacies)

  1. (law) Money or property bequeathed to someone in a will.
  2. Something inherited from a predecessor; a heritage.
    John Muir left as his legacy an enduring spirit of respect for the environment.
  3. (university and society admissions) The descendant of an alumnus.
    Because she was a legacy, her mother's sorority rushed her.




  1. Left over from the past; no longer current.
    • 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.
    • 2006, Anne Gams Steine Asserson & Eduard J. Simons, Enabling Interaction and Quality: Beyond the Hanseatic League, ISBN 905867536X, page 118:
      Finally, the organisation ends up with an expensive ERP of which it uses only part because of divergent evolutionary directions and a set of new systems fast becoming 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      Because most of these HALs are legacy and only used on aging or outdated hardware, chances are that you do not have any in your lab and must be creative in procuring one from an active user.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).