verb (used with object), crim·i·nal·ized, crim·i·nal·iz·ing.
  1. to make punishable as a crime: To reduce the graffiti on subway cars, he wants to criminalize the selling of spray paint to minors.
  2. to make a criminal of: Drug use has criminalized him.
Also especially British, crim·i·nal·ise.

Origin of criminalize

First recorded in 1955–60; criminal + -ize
Related formscrim·i·nal·i·za·tion, nounre·crim·i·nal·i·za·tion, nounre·crim·i·nal·ize, verb (used with object), re·crim·i·nal·ized, re·crim·i·nal·iz·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for criminalization

Contemporary Examples of criminalization

British Dictionary definitions for criminalization



verb (tr)
  1. to make (an action or activity) criminal
  2. to treat (a person) as a criminal
Derived Formscriminalization or 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