9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[krim-uh-nl-ahyz] /ˈkrɪm ə nlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), criminalized, criminalizing.
to make punishable as a crime:
To reduce the graffiti on subway cars, he wants to criminalize the selling of spray paint to minors.
to make a criminal of:
Drug use has criminalized him.
Also, especially British, criminalise.
Origin of criminalize
1955-60; criminal + -ize
Related forms
criminalization, noun
recriminalization, noun
recriminalize, verb (used with object), recriminalized, recriminalizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for criminalize
  • However, it would become unreasonable to then try to criminalize those who do not act in this way.
  • It may criminalize extortion threats and conspiratorial agreements.
  • To criminalize command decisions in a theater of complex combat operations is a grave step indeed.
  • The statute does not criminalize threats of violence.
  • Changes in laws that either de-criminalize behaviors or criminalize additional offenses can affect the number of people arrested.
  • criminalize violent crimes in furtherance or in aid of criminal street gangs.
  • The bill seeks substantial progress towards repealing or revising laws that criminalize democracy related activities.
  • There are already a zillion laws on the books that criminalize weapons.
  • criminalize us for wanting to defend ourselves and keep our families safe.
British Dictionary definitions for criminalize


verb (transitive)
to make (an action or activity) criminal
to treat (a person) as a criminal
Derived Forms
criminalization, criminalisation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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