legalize

verb

le·​gal·​ize ˈlē-gə-ˌlīz How to pronounce legalize (audio)
legalized; legalizing

transitive verb

: to make legal
especially : to give legal validity or sanction to
legalization noun
legalizer noun

Examples of legalize in a Sentence

They wanted to legalize gambling in their city. The government has legalized the use of the new drug.
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, family members and longtime friends joined the stage as speakers stood and remembered Sinclair and others who devoted their lives to the fight to legalize marijuana. Kylie Martin, Detroit Free Press, 7 Apr. 2024 Since then, her organization has worked with other mothers to legalize using campaign funds for child care in 29 states – and saw the use of those funds increase by 2,156% between 2018 and 2022. Caitlin Babcock, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Apr. 2024 The Flint, Michigan native became known for his fight to legalize marijuana and as co-founder of the White Panther Party, the anti-racist social group that served as a counterpart to the Black Panthers. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 2 Apr. 2024 In 2021, Virginia became the first Southern state to legalize marijuana, adopting a policy change that allowed adults age 21 and up to possess and cultivate the drug. Sarah Rankin, Quartz, 28 Mar. 2024 Stewart said, referencing the film series that hypothesizes what would happen if all crime — including murder — was legalized for 24 hours. EW.com, 26 Mar. 2024 The federal Farm Bill in 2018 legalized hemp — a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC content. Olivia Evans, The Courier-Journal, 18 Mar. 2024 Massachusetts residents voted to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana in 2016 - an initiative Healey was opposed to at the time. Neal Riley, CBS News, 13 Mar. 2024 Virginia legalized the possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana three years ago but never settled on a mechanism to allow legal sales. Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'legalize.' 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 1652, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of legalize was circa 1652

Dictionary Entries Near legalize

Cite this Entry

“Legalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legalize. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

legalize

verb
le·​gal·​ize ˈlē-gə-ˌlīz How to pronounce legalize (audio)
legalized; legalizing
: to make legal
wanted to legalize gambling in their city
legalization noun

Legal Definition

legalize

transitive verb
le·​gal·​ize ˈlē-gə-ˌlīz How to pronounce legalize (audio)
legalized; legalizing
: to make legal
especially : to give legal validity or sanction to
legalization noun
legalizer noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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