n. pl. leg·a·cies
1. Money or property given to another by will.
2. Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past: a legacy of religious freedom. See Synonyms at heritage.
3. An individual who is either an applicant to an educational institution or a matriculated student and is the child of an alumna or alumnus.
Retained under an obsolescent or discarded system, chiefly for purposes of reference: legacy files in the old email system.
[Middle English legacie, office of a deputy, from Old French, from Medieval Latin lēgātia, from Latin lēgātus, past participle of lēgāre, to depute, bequeath; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.