criminalize

verb crim·i·nal·ize \ ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌlīz , ˈkrim-nə-ˌlīz \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of criminalize

criminalized; criminalizing
transitive verb
: to make illegal; also : to turn into a criminal or treat as criminal

criminalization

play \ˌkri-mə-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, ˌkrim-nə-lə-ˈzā-\ noun

Examples of criminalize in a Sentence

  1. a law that criminalized alcohol

  2. wanted to criminalize an activity that the mountaineers had been engaging in for generations

Recent Examples of criminalize from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criminalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of criminalize

criminalize Synonyms

Synonyms
illegalize, outlaw
Antonyms
decriminalize, legalize
Related Words
ban, bar, enjoin, forbid, interdict, prohibit, proscribe
Near Antonyms
allow, let, permit, suffer; approve, endorse (also indorse), sanction

CRIMINALIZE Defined for English Language Learners

criminalize

verb

Definition of criminalize for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) illegal


Law Dictionary

criminalize

transitive verb crim·i·nal·ize \ ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌlīz \

legal Definition of criminalize

criminalized; criminalizing
: to make criminal : outlaw
  • the statute criminalizing the use of contraceptives
  • —R. H. Bork
— compare illegalize

criminalization

play \ˌkri-mə-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌlī-\ noun

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