de·crim·i·nal·ize /dē-'kri-mən-əl-ˌīz/ vt -ized, -iz·ing: to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of
de·crim·i·nal·iza·tion /dē-ˌkri-mən-əl-ə-'zā-shən/ n

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

To legalize an act that was formerly criminal.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • decriminalize — 1963, to reform a criminal, back formation from DECRIMINALIZATION (Cf. decriminalization). Meaning to make legal something that formerly had been illegal was in use by 1970 (there are isolated instances back to 1867). Related: Decriminalized;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • decriminalize — (Amer.) v. make something legal (i.e. marijuana), decriminalise …   English contemporary dictionary

  • decriminalize — [v] legalize allow, declare lawful, legitimize, make legal, permit, regulate, sanction; concepts 298,317 …   New thesaurus

  • decriminalize — (also decriminalise) ► VERB ▪ cease to treat (something) as illegal. DERIVATIVES decriminalization noun …   English terms dictionary

  • decriminalize — ☆ decriminalize [dē krim′ə nəl īz΄, dē′krim′ə nəl īz΄ ] vt. decriminalized, decriminalizing to eliminate or reduce the legal penalties for (a specified crime) decriminalization n …   English World dictionary

  • decriminalize — UK [diːˈkrɪmɪnəlaɪz] / US [dɪˈkrɪmɪn(ə)lˌaɪz] verb [transitive] Word forms decriminalize : present tense I/you/we/they decriminalize he/she/it decriminalizes present participle decriminalizing past tense decriminalized past participle… …   English dictionary

  • decriminalize — transitive verb Date: 1969 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 > • decriminalization noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • decriminalize — decriminalization, n. /dee krim euh nl uyz /, v.t., decriminalized, decriminalizing. to eliminate criminal penalties for or remove legal restrictions against: to decriminalize marijuana. Also, esp. Brit., decriminalise. [1965 70, Amer.; DE +… …   Universalium

  • decriminalize — verb Decriminalize is used with these nouns as the object: ↑marijuana, ↑prostitution …   Collocations dictionary

  • decriminalize — de|crim|in|a|lize also decriminalise BrE [di:ˈkrımınəlaız] v [T] to state officially that something is not illegal any more ▪ the campaign to decriminalize cannabis >decriminalization [di:ˌkrımınəlaıˈzeıʃən US lə ] n [U] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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