Definition of decriminalize
: 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
decriminalizationplay \(ˌ)dē-ˌkri-mə-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌkrim-nəl-\ noun
Recent Examples of decriminalize from the Web
Earlier this year parliament agreed to grant compensation to thousands of gay men jailed under a 19th century law that was strengthened by the Nazis and only dropped in 1969 when homosexuality was decriminalized in West Germany.
His government had to withdraw a decree that decriminalized some graft offenses after massive street protests in February.
The commitment of this woman is even more symbolic in Russia, which recently introduced a law decriminalizing domestic violence.
The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, a 1967 law that decriminalized homosexual behavior.
Private homosexual acts between men over the age of 21 were not decriminalized in England and Wales until 1967, 15 years after Elizabeth ascended to the throne.
Philadelphia has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, so this one ought to go well.
Grindeanu moved to decriminalize official misconduct in January, sparking huge protests that led him to withdraw the decree.
A more cosmopolitan nation Ireland was late to decriminalize homosexuality in 1993, but the pace of change has been breathtaking, with civil partnerships introduced in 2010, followed by the legalization of same sex marriage in a 2015 referendum.
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
DECRIMINALIZE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of decriminalize for English Language Learners
: to make (something that is illegal) legal by changing the law
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