Definition of legalize in US English:

legalize

(British legalise)

verb

[with object]
  • Make (something that was previously illegal) permissible by law.

    ‘a measure legalizing gambling in Deadwood’
    • ‘For less than a year it was legalised by statute in the Northern Territory of Australia.’
    • ‘It's time to fix the bankruptcy law that has legalized the corporate robbery of workers.’
    • ‘However, it was decided the owner of the signboard will be forced to remove the structure as there is no official authorization document that legalizes its status.’
    • ‘In my opinion if prostitution is legalised and they are accepted into the community hundreds of lives could be saved.’
    • ‘But in terms of individual possession there have been frequent calls for cannabis to be legalized.’
    • ‘The country, now called the State of Mongolia, adopted a new democratic constitution, which legalized private ownership.’
    • ‘And if you legalize it you can regulate it and get it out of the hands of organized crime.’
    • ‘Two years later, the government introduced another measure legalizing civil marriage.’
    • ‘The county had a vote on whether to continue to allow legalized prostitution, or to ban it.’
    • ‘Alaska's ballot measure attempts to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.’
    • ‘Having a marriage certificate legalises the partnership, but it doesn't guarantee happiness either for the couple or their children.’
    • ‘In Nevada a measure that would have legalized possession of up to three ounces of the drug failed to gain the support it needed.’
    • ‘So, should prostitution be legalised, decriminalised or are things best the way they are at the moment?’
    • ‘At least if marijuana is legalized it can be regulated.’
    • ‘When the movement to legalize abortion began, advocates talked about the human costs of prohibition.’
    • ‘Changing the legislation to legalise a practice that had been illegally in operation for some time was sensible.’
    • ‘Arkansans defeated the plan to create a state lottery and legalize casino gambling in six counties.’
    • ‘The bill legalises perjury, and that is something we find to be offensive.’
    • ‘Dr Anthony offered no statistics whatsoever to justify the government's determination to legalize certain abortions.’
    • ‘The Spanish government has approved a draft law which will legalise homosexual marriages.’
    make legal, decriminalize, legitimize, legitimatize, legitimate, validate, ratify, permit, allow, admit, accept, authorize, sanction, warrant, license, approve, countenance, pronounce lawful, give the stamp of approval to
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Pronunciation

legalize

/ˈlēɡəˌlīz//ˈliɡəˌlaɪz/