- habitually or characteristically accepting or tolerant of something, as social behavior or linguistic usage, that others might disapprove or forbid.
- granting or denoting permission: a permissive nod.
- Genetics. (of a cell) permitting replication of a strand of DNA that could be lethal, as a viral segment or mutant gene.
Origin of permissive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for permissiveness
“We live in a moment where people feel a certain degree of permissiveness—a willingness to be playful with identity,” he said.Why It’s Time to End Blackface, Finally
October 31, 2013
The "permissiveness" or indifference of the ruler of the universe grows amazingly.The War and the Churches
- tolerant; lenientpermissive parents
- indulgent in matters of sexa permissive society
- granting permission
- archaic not obligatory
Word Origin and History for permissiveness
c.1600, "allowing to pass through," from Old French permissif, from Latin permiss-, past participle stem of permittere "to let go, let pass, let loose" (see permit (v.)). In sense of "tolerant, liberal" it is first recorded 1956; by 1966 it had definite overtones of sexual freedom. Earlier it meant "permitted, allowed" (early 15c.). Related: Permissively; permissiveness.