- authoritative permission or approval, as for an action.
- something that serves to support an action, condition, etc.
- something that gives binding force, as to an oath, rule of conduct, etc.
- a provision of a law enacting a penalty for disobedience or a reward for obedience.
- the penalty or reward.
- International Law. action by one or more states toward another state calculated to force it to comply with legal obligations.
- to authorize, approve, or allow: an expression now sanctioned by educated usage.
- to ratify or confirm: to sanction a law.
- to impose a sanction on; penalize, especially by way of discipline.
Origin of sanction
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sanction
If the U.S. moves to sanction Putin and his pals next week, Moscow will definitely strike back.White House Braces for Russian Retaliation Over Ukraine
March 14, 2014
Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will mark up legislation to give aid to Ukraine and sanction Russia.GOP Senators Line Up Against Ukraine Aid Bill
March 12, 2014
Right on cue, as if to sanction a visit, ten choristers from the Royal Holloway Choir start to sing.Seduced by Art & Beauty ‘At the House of Mr X’
January 17, 2014
You should ratchet up the sanction and make it clear to Iran that they won't get away with it.How Netanyahu's Iran Policy Ends Badly
July 16, 2013
Pressure on the West to sanction or abandon Israel might become unprecedented in severity.Think Twice About Jews On The Temple Mount
Edward S. Goldstein
June 27, 2013
But your father has given his sanction to your brother's dislikes, your uncles', and every body's!
I am sure they will, if you please to give them your sanction.
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
- final permission; authorization
- aid or encouragement
- something, such as an ethical principle, that imparts binding force to a rule, oath, etc
- the penalty laid down in a law for contravention of its provisions
- (often plural) a coercive measure, esp one taken by one or more states against another guilty of violating international law
- to give authority to; permit
- to make authorized; confirm
Word Origin and History for sanction
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.
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.