verb (used with object), le·gal·ized, le·gal·iz·ing.

to make legal; authorize.

Also especially British, le·gal·ise.

Origin of legalize

First recorded in 1710–20; legal + -ize
Related formsle·gal·i·za·tion, nounun·le·gal·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for legalise

Historical Examples of legalise

  • I will give you all, but I have not the power to legalise your position.'

  • But all Paris knew of the connection, and she was about to legalise it by marriage.

    The Red Lottery Ticket

    Fortun Du Boisgobey

  • They cannot be, sir, if they require a new statute to legalise them.

    Jane Eyre

    Charlotte Bronte

  • We legalise the killing of the strong; but not for humane reasons.

    From the Housetops

    George Barr McCutcheon

  • Why shouldn't we legalise the killing of the weak for humane reasons?

    From the Housetops

    George Barr McCutcheon

British Dictionary definitions for legalise



verb (tr)

to make lawful or legal
to confirm or validate (something previously unlawful)
Derived Formslegalization or legalisation, 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

Word Origin and History for legalise



1716, from legal + -ize. Related: Legalized; legalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper