decriminalize

play
verb de·crim·i·nal·ize \(ˌ)dē-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌlīz, -ˈkrim-nəl-\

Definition of decriminalize

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of; especially :  to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation decriminalize the possession of marijuana

decriminalization

play \(ˌ)dē-ˌkri-mə-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌkrim-nəl-\ noun

Recent Examples of decriminalize from the Web

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

First Known Use of decriminalize

1969


DECRIMINALIZE Defined for English Language Learners

decriminalize

play
verb

Definition of decriminalize for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something that is illegal) legal by changing the law


Law Dictionary

decriminalize

play
transitive verb de·crim·i·nal·ize \dē-ˈkri-mən-əl-ˌīz\

Legal Definition of decriminalize

decriminalized

decriminalizing

  1. :  to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of

decriminalization

\dē-ˌkri-mən-əl-ə-ˈzā-shən\ play noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up decriminalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to bring about or cause (something)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!