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

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Other Words from decriminalize

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

Examples of decriminalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

State lawmakers in Washington have made progress on a bill that would decriminalize teen sexting, KIRO 7 reported. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Washington State Lawmakers Are Advancing a Bill Decriminalizing Teen Sexting," 7 Mar. 2019 Additionally, Marijuana Moment reports that five different cities in Ohio voted to decriminalize pot, potentially paving way for a future ballot measure in favor of statewide adult recreational use. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Three States Approved Legal Marijuana During Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Florida has legalized medical marijuana but hasn’t legalized or decriminalized recreational use. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Fox News warns about THC gummies “ruining families” and “killing” Americans “every day.”," 3 Dec. 2018 Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and the District of Columbia have broadly legalized cannabis, while others have either decriminalized usage or have legalized it only for medicinal purposes. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Wyoming Highway Patrol officials seize more than $7M worth of marijuana during traffic stop," 30 Aug. 2018 Some see the idea as a continuation of a sweeping judicial reform put in place over the past decade in Mexico, which has sought to decriminalize minor drug offenses and solve more cases through mediation and restitution. Joshua Partlow And David Agren, chicagotribune.com, "Mexico's presidential front-runner doesn't want to escalate the drug war," 30 June 2018 Some see the idea as a continuation of a sweeping judicial reform put in place over the past decade in Mexico, which has sought to decriminalize minor drug offenses and solve more cases through mediation and restitution. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "Mexico’s presidential front-runner, AMLO, doesn’t want to escalate the drug war," 30 June 2018 Judicial changes put in place over the past decade in Mexico, which has sought to decriminalize minor drug offenses and solve more cases through mediation and restitution. Joshua Partlow, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexico set to elect leftist president for first time in decades," 30 June 2018 The case prompted an official inquiry, and Wildeblood's testimony led the Wolfenden Committee to recommend decriminalizing homosexuality in 1957. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "What's streaming in February? 'Altered Carbon,' 'The Tick,' 'Queer Eye,' 'Mozart'," 30 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of decriminalize

1969, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near decriminalize

decretory

decretum

decrial

decriminalize

decrown

decrustation

decry

Statistics for decriminalize

Last Updated

1 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decriminalize

The first known use of decriminalize was in 1969

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More Definitions for decriminalize

decriminalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decriminalize

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

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 decriminalization (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on decriminalize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decriminalize

Nglish: Translation of decriminalize for Spanish Speakers

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