legalize

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

Definition of legalize

transitive verb

: to make legal especially : to give legal validity or sanction to

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from legalize

legalization \ ˌlē-​gə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce legalize (audio) \ noun
legalizer \ ˈlē-​gə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce legalize (audio) \ 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 New York finally appears poised to legalize adult-use cannabis. Ben Curren, Forbes, "The Empire State Of Cannabis: Clues For The Congress In New York’s Legalization Debate," 1 Mar. 2021 Several states have made recent pushes to decriminalize or legalize cannabis for various uses. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "House Democrat purchased cannabis stocks while supporting legislation to decriminalize marijuana," 24 Feb. 2021 New Jersey is finally officially legalizing marijuana, now that Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation creating a recreational pot marketplace months after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question to legalize it. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: ‘Not Just Another Number’," 23 Feb. 2021 Since the law was enacted, the North Dakota Department of Health has been pushing back, asking the state legislature to again legalize nonperishable foods only. Meleyna Nomura, Bon Appétit, "In Some States, Selling Homemade Food Is Illegal. This Home Cook Fought the Law—and Won.," 22 Feb. 2021 Three bills that would legalize hemp flower were filed this year at the Indiana General Assembly, but only HB 1224 has gained traction. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "Legalizing hemp flower could net big money; police say upholding laws would be impossible," 16 Feb. 2021 If the legislation is signed into law, Virginia would become the 16th state in the nation and the first Southern state to legalize small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use. Denise Lavoie, Star Tribune, "Advocates promote social equity in Virginia marijuana bills," 14 Feb. 2021 President Joe Biden has announced a task force dedicated to reuniting separated families, and has pledged an immigration overhaul that could legalize some 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., the boldest amnesty program since 1986. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "A border runs through it: A tale of migration, separation, and reunification," 3 Feb. 2021 Rather than leave, some residents want the authorities to invest in basic infrastructure and legalize their longstanding presence there. New York Times, "In Poor Madrid Neighborhood, Biggest Snowfall in Half Century Deepens Misery," 25 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of legalize

circa 1652, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about legalize

Time Traveler for legalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of legalize was circa 1652

See more words from the same year

Statistics for legalize

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Legalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legalize. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for legalize

legalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of legalize

: to make (something) legal : to allow (something) by law

legalize

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

Kids Definition of legalize

: to make allowable by law legalized gambling

Other Words from legalize

legalization \ ˌlē-​gə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

legalize

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

Legal Definition of legalize

: to make legal especially : to give legal validity or sanction to

Other Words from legalize

legalization noun
legalizer noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on legalize

What made you want to look up legalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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