decriminalise vs legitimate what difference

what is difference between decriminalise and legitimate



From de- +‎ criminalise


decriminalise (third-person singular simple present decriminalises, present participle decriminalising, simple past and past participle decriminalised)

  1. (British spelling) Alternative spelling of decriminalize



From Middle English legitimat, legytymat, from Medieval Latin lēgitimatus, perfect passive participle of Latin lēgitimō (make legal), from Latin lēgitimus (lawful), originally “fixed by law, in line with the law,” from Latin lēx (law). Originally “lawfully begotten”.

The verb was derived from the adjective by conversion.


  • (adjective, noun) IPA(key): /lɪˈdʒɪtɪmət/, /ləˈdʒɪtɪmət/
  • (verb) IPA(key): /ləˈdʒɪtɪmeɪt/


legitimate (comparative more legitimate, superlative most legitimate)

  1. In accordance with the law or established legal forms and requirements.
    Synonyms: lawful, legal
    Antonym: illegitimate
  2. Conforming to known principles, or established or accepted rules or standards; valid.
    • Tillotson still keeps his place as a legitimate English classic.
  3. Authentic, real, genuine.
    Antonym: illegitimate
    Antonym: false
  4. Lawfully begotten, i.e., born to a legally married couple. [from mid-14th century]
    Synonym: rightful
    Antonym: illegitimate
  5. Relating to hereditary rights.



legitimate (plural legitimates)

  1. A person born to a legally married couple.


  • bastard
  • illegitimate


legitimate (third-person singular simple present legitimates, present participle legitimating, simple past and past participle legitimated)

  1. (transitive) To make legitimate, lawful, or valid; especially, to put in the position or state of a legitimate person before the law, by legal means. [from 1590]

Usage notes

  • Forms of legitimize are about twice as common as forms of the verb legitimate in the US.
  • Forms of legitimate are somewhat more common than the forms of the verbs legitimize and legitimise (combined) in the UK.


  • legitimize

Derived terms

  • delegitimate



  • legitimate at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • legitimate in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • legitimate in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “legitimate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.




  1. vocative masculine singular of lēgitimātus

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