- 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 unsanctioned
Many are invoking the doctrine of “responsibility to protect,” or RtoP, to justify immediate and unsanctioned action.What Assad Wants in Syria: Unsanctioned International Military Action
February 15, 2012
The next day I took an unsanctioned holiday after the morning's lecture.Tono Bungay
H. G. Wells
She had no idea of settling down into a commonplace engagement, sanctioned or unsanctioned.The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals
Ann S. Stephens
Not long before this a simple shepherd had been sentenced to be burned on account of unsanctioned preaching.History of the Jews, Vol. IV (of VI)
He extended his hand in a dumb farewell, when, all unsanctioned by his will, the voice of despair escaped him in a low groan.The Grandissimes
George Washington Cable
Nothing awakens anger in hot blood sooner than an unsanctioned touch.The Light of Scarthey
- not having been given permission or authorization
- 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 unsanctioned
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.