For example:

This process orders entries in a <word-ic> way     (adjective)
This process orders entries <word-ically>     (adverb)

My first thought was legacical(ly), but a quick Google search reveals that isn't (yet) a word.

If there isn't a direct form, is there a similar adjective or adverb that can be used in a context like the one above?

  • 2
    Are you looking for an adjective or an adverb? Legacy as an adjective means: Denoting or relating to software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use. oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/legacy.
    – user66974
    Sep 15, 2015 at 18:07
  • 1
    This processes orders the old way. This uses the legacy order processing system.
    – Jim
    Sep 15, 2015 at 18:13
  • @Josh61 I am indeed looking for an adverb, see my example context.
    – Shelvacu
    Sep 15, 2015 at 18:23
  • 3
    Legacical is an adjectival form. Legacically would be an adverbial form. But actually, your example sentence does require an adjective (or an attributive noun, like legacy). Are you really asking for an adverb?
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 15, 2015 at 21:04
  • An adverbial form of legacy would sound rather legacilly… Sep 15, 2015 at 21:04

3 Answers 3


'Legacy' is the adjectival form of 'legacy'.

This process orders entries in a legacy way.

If you're hip enough, you can even use 'legacy' as the adverbial form of 'legacy'.

This process orders entries legacy

  • Hip? Yours is the only example I can find on the internet. How is that trendy? Mar 13, 2021 at 17:18
  • @EdwinAshworth "Hip" here refers to the attitude one would need in order to pull off using "legacy" in this sense, which borrows from the syntax of, for example, "Here, we do things old-school." Apr 29 at 7:33

I think that the adjectival and, by extension, the adverbial form of legacy should be legatial and legatially respectively. This choice is based off the establishment of existential, gladiatorial, etc.

Words ending in the -ial suffix https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-ial

The -ial suffix is a very simple suffix of converting nouns into adjectives.

However, many words ending acy tend to change -cy to -te:




Others change to -tic, because -cracy, meaning rule, is the suffix in these words:




Finally, there are a few that add the -ious suffix:




Finally, there is one that has, from what I can tell, no direct adjectival form (conspiracy) but whose closest adjective is conspiratorial, which comes more directly from conspirator. OED2 does have conspiratious (def: Addicted to conspiring) and conspirative (def: Engaged in, involving, or characterized by conspiracy).


Now, that leaves legate, legacious, and legative, excluding legatial. Legate already exists as a noun with a different meaning, although it could be used as an adjective. Legative, too, exists as a an adjective derived from the previous legate. Legacious has no precedence as a word and could very well be coined for such an instance, and the -ly suffix can be easily slapped on to make legaciously.

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    There’s also legatary (“of or pertaining to a bequest”), which is probably about as close as you’ll get to the current meaning of legacy with a word from the same etymological group. Much more straightforwardly than any of these adjectives, though, is simply using legacy as a noun adjunct. Won’t work adverbially, but sounds fine adjectivally. Sep 15, 2015 at 22:47
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Personally, I'd rather have an actual adjective than a nominal modifier, as certain adjectival suffixes create nuances. As for "closest to it…", yes, however, a simple coinage solves the problem of its lack of both adjective and adverb. Sep 16, 2015 at 9:53

Using "legacy" as an adjective is not "hip." It is indicative of shortcut laziness by millennials. The words "historical" or "discontinued" are more appropriate.

  • At least with reference to software (which the OP is talking about), neither historical nor discontinued means the same thing as legacy. If you're going to accuse people of being lazy, you shouldn't be lazy yourself — at least take the trouble to pick a word that means somewhere in the vicinity of the same thing (antiquated might work). Mar 13, 2021 at 17:07
  • 'Legacy software' arguably uses 'legacy' as an attributive noun. This would then be the same usage as 'football manager', 'cricket bat' and the like. Mar 13, 2021 at 17:21

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