decriminalize

verb
de·​crim·​i·​nal·​ize | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce decriminalize (audio) , -ˈkrim-nəl- \
decriminalized; decriminalizing; decriminalizes

Definition of decriminalize

transitive verb

: 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

Other Words from decriminalize

decriminalization \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌkri-​mə-​nə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce decriminalize (audio) , -​ˌkrim-​nəl-​ \ noun

Examples of decriminalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thailand has become the first Asian country to decriminalize non-recreational use of cannabis. Naazneen Karmali, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Canada's government approved British Columbia's plan to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs for personal use this week in what will be a three-year experiment. Paul Best, Fox News, 1 June 2022 Rhode Island lawmakers are weighing a proposal to decriminalize psilocybin this year, and in Colorado there’s an effort to get statewide decriminalization on the ballot. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Apr. 2022 This is more than just a pipe dream: in June of 2021, Vermont and Rhode Island became the first two U.S. states to decriminalize possession of non-prescribed buprenorphine. John C. Messinger, STAT, 25 Mar. 2022 The 2017 Mental Healthcare Act attempted to limit the Indian Penal Code's applicability and to decriminalize suicide, in the hopes of empowering people to receive mental health treatment. Gunisha Kaur, CNN, 17 Mar. 2022 The new version of the law doesn't decriminalize soliciting or engaging in prostitution. Taylor Romine, CNN, 2 July 2022 On Thursday, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize the use of marijuana and hemp. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 9 June 2022 Rhode Island lawmakers are weighing a proposal to decriminalize psilocybin this year, and in Colorado there’s an effort to get statewide decriminalization on the ballot. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Apr. 2022 See More

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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The first known use of decriminalize was in 1969

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Dictionary Entries Near decriminalize

decrial

decriminalize

decrown

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Statistics for decriminalize

Last Updated

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decriminalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decriminalize. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for decriminalize

decriminalize

transitive verb
de·​crim·​i·​nal·​ize | \ dē-ˈkri-mən-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce decriminalize (audio) \
decriminalized; decriminalizing

Legal Definition of decriminalize

: to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of

Other Words from decriminalize

decriminalization \ dē-​ˌkri-​mən-​ᵊl-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce decriminalize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on decriminalize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decriminalize

Nglish: Translation of decriminalize for Spanish Speakers

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