il·​le·​gal·​ize (ˌ)i(l)-ˈlē-gə-ˌlīz How to pronounce illegalize (audio)
illegalized; illegalizing; illegalizes

transitive verb

: to make or declare illegal

Example Sentences

a bill that would illegalize the private use of fireworks
Recent Examples on the Web Basis for the suit to illegalize the union, lawyers explained, is the difference in race between the participants., 28 Feb. 2018 Rather than negotiating a political agreement, Madrid decided to illegalize Basque political parties allegedly linked with terrorism and to prosecute their leaders. Sergi Pardos-prado, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2017 The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a bill focused on illegalizing any conversion therapy that charges money, was filed in the U.S. Senate in April. Joseph Frankel, The Atlantic, 10 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'illegalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1818, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of illegalize was circa 1818

Dictionary Entries Near illegalize

Cite this Entry

“Illegalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Legal Definition


transitive verb
il·​le·​ga·​lize il-ˈlē-gə-ˌlīz How to pronounce illegalize (audio)
: to make or declare illegal compare criminalize
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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