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2017 Word of the Year

sanction

[sangk-shuh n] /ˈsæŋk ʃən/
noun
1.
authoritative permission or approval, as for an action.
2.
something that serves to support an action, condition, etc.
3.
something that gives binding force, as to an oath, rule of conduct, etc.
4.
Law.
  1. a provision of a law enacting a penalty for disobedience or a reward for obedience.
  2. the penalty or reward.
5.
International Law. action by one or more states toward another state calculated to force it to comply with legal obligations.
verb (used with object)
6.
to authorize, approve, or allow:
an expression now sanctioned by educated usage.
7.
to ratify or confirm:
to sanction a law.
8.
to impose a sanction on; penalize, especially by way of discipline.
Origin of sanction
1555-1565
1555-65; < Latin sānctiōn- (stem of sānctiō), equivalent to sānct(us) (past participle of sancīre to prescribe by law) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
sanctionable, adjective
sanctionative, adjective
sanctioner, noun
sanctionless, adjective
nonsanction, noun
nonsanctioned, adjective
quasi-sanctioned, adjective
resanction, verb (used with object)
supersanction, verb (used with object), noun
unsanctionable, adjective
unsanctioned, adjective
unsanctioning, adjective
well-sanctioned, adjective
Synonyms
6. permit.
Antonyms
1. disapproval. 6. disapprove.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sanction
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But your father has given his sanction to your brother's dislikes, your uncles', and every body's!

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • I am sure they will, if you please to give them your sanction.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But how does this fact prove that the Bible does not sanction slavery?

    Slavery Ordained of God Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
  • My daughter must be consulted—have you received her sanction?

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • The consolidation still required the sanction of the legislature.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
British Dictionary definitions for sanction

sanction

/ˈsæŋkʃən/
noun
1.
final permission; authorization
2.
aid or encouragement
3.
something, such as an ethical principle, that imparts binding force to a rule, oath, etc
4.
the penalty laid down in a law for contravention of its provisions
5.
(often pl) a coercive measure, esp one taken by one or more states against another guilty of violating international law
verb (transitive)
6.
to give authority to; permit
7.
to make authorized; confirm
Derived Forms
sanctionable, adjective
sanctioner, noun
sanctionless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin sanctiō the establishment of an inviolable decree, from sancīre to decree
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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Word Origin and History for sanction
n.

early 15c., "confirmation or enactment of a law," from Latin sanctionem (nominative sanctio) "act of decreeing or ordaining," also "decree, ordinance," noun of action from past participle stem of sancire "to decree, confirm, ratify, make sacred" (see saint (n.)). Originally especially of ecclesiastical decrees.

v.

1778, "confirm by sanction, make valid or binding;" 1797 as "to permit authoritatively;" from sanction (n.). Seemingly contradictory meaning "impose a penalty on" is from 1956 but is rooted in an old legalistic sense of the noun. Related: Sanctioned; sanctioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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