[lahy-suh ns] Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for licencing


US license

  1. a certificate, tag, document, etc, giving official permission to do something
  2. formal permission or exemption
  3. liberty of action or thought; freedom
  4. intentional disregard of or deviation from conventional rules to achieve a certain effectpoetic licence
  5. excessive freedom
  6. licentiousness

Word Origin for licence

C14: via Old French and Medieval Latin licentia permission, from Latin: freedom, from licet it is allowed
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

Word Origin and History for licencing



c.1400, "grant formal authorization," from license (n.). Related: Licenced; Licencing.



mid-14c., "liberty (to do something), leave," from Old French licence "freedom, liberty, power, possibility; permission," (12c.), from Latin licentia "freedom, liberty, license," from licentem (nominative licens). present participle of licere "to be allowed, be lawful," from PIE root *leik- "to offer, bargain" (cf. Lettish likstu "I come to terms"). Meaning "formal (usually written) permission from authority to do something" (marry, hunt, drive, etc.) is first attested early 15c. Meaning "excessive liberty, disregard of propriety" is from mid-15c. No etymological justification for the spelling with -s-; attempts to confine license to verbal use and licence to noun use (cf. advise/advice, devise/device) seem to have failed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper