decriminalize

verb de·crim·i·nal·ize \ (ˌ)dē-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌlīz , -ˈkrim-nəl- \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

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

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

in the meaning defined above

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DECRIMINALIZE Defined for English Language Learners

decriminalize

Definition of decriminalize for English Language Learners

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


Law Dictionary

decriminalize

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

legal Definition of decriminalize

decriminalized; decriminalizing
: to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of

decriminalization

play \dē-ˌkri-mən-ᵊl-ə-ˈzā-shən\ noun


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