verb (used with object), li·censed, li·cens·ing.
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Origin of license
OTHER WORDS FROM license
Words nearby license
What does license mean?
License means permission to do something, especially formal permission from a government or other authority. The word often refers to the proof of that permission, such as a card or certificate.
A license can be required for many different kinds of activities, especially those that may be considered dangerous if a person does not have the proper training. The most common types of licenses are driver’s licenses, professional licenses, and licenses for businesses. Those who hold such licenses are said to be licensed. License can also be used as a verb, meaning “to grant permission” or “to give a license to.” In British English, it is commonly spelled licence.
Example: I have permission to operate here, and if you doubt it you can even see my license.
Where does license come from?
The first records of license in English come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin word licentia, which means “authorization” or “freedom” and is based on the Latin verb licēre, meaning “to be allowed.”
In a general sense, license refers to permission. But it most commonly refers to official permission, especially from a government. Your driver’s license is the card in your wallet with a bad picture of you on it, but that card represents the permission you have been given to drive. In most places, you have to earn that permission by taking a test and proving that you’re a good driver (OK, that you have a basic ability to operate a vehicle). The same thing goes for many licenses, including those to practice law or medicine—you have to prove that you have the knowledge or skill necessary to do those things, because otherwise you could seriously hurt people or mess up their lives. There are many other examples of professions that require licenses, and there are also licenses for recreational activities. In some places, you need a hunting license or a fishing license.
It’s not only individual people who can hold licenses—some organizations and businesses require licenses, too. For example, in the United States, restaurants need a license to serve alcohol.
Though license is most commonly used in an official sense, it can be used generally to mean “permission” or “authority,” as in Your promotion doesn’t give you a license to be rude to your coworkers.
License is sometimes used in a figurative sense, as in poetic license, which is the freedom of artists to change something for effect, even if it’s not correct or realistic. James Bond’s famous license to kill isn’t figurative or metaphorical—he literally has permission to kill people if he considers it necessary to complete a mission (in fact, that’s what it means to have “double-0” status in the books and movies in which Agent 007 appears).
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What are some other forms related to license?
- licensed (verb, adjective)
- licensee (noun)
- licensor (noun)
- licensable (adjective)
- delicense (verb)
What are some synonyms for license?
What are some words that share a root or word element with license?
What are some words that often get used in discussing license?
How is license used in real life?
License is commonly used to refer to the document that proves that you have permission to do something, such as drive a car, practice medicine, serve alcohol, operate a boat, hunt, fish, and many other activities.
I was 19 years old when I got my driver's license. I didn't even know how to turn on the headlights, which exasperated the driving test lady. I didn't do a full stop at a stop sign. I passed with the exact cutoff score, mostly because I think the lady didn't wanna see me again.
— Sara Marie Reine (@smreine) August 6, 2019
My mom offered to pay for my liquor license😪💗 y’all Im officially serious about this business now.
— Makaila✨ (@makailajaay) February 28, 2020
I got my boating license today & I got to ride a jet ski for the first time in the ocean & OMG im so happyyyy🥺
— Marlehneh (@marliiniiweenie) March 4, 2020
Try using license!
Which of the following words could be considered an antonym (opposite) for license?
Example sentences from the Web for license
You can still get your license at the court—just not actually get married there.The Back Alley, Low Blow-Ridden Fight to Stop Gay Marriage in Florida Is Finally Over|Jay Michaelson|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The young man had the presence of mind to tail Gaylard Williams out of the park and jot down his license plate.Exposed: The Gay-Bashing Pastor’s Same-Sex Assault|M.L. Nestel|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Adding a checkbox to a driver's license and another form would make this easy to implement.
The next step is requiring 40 hours of training prior to license approval.
Did you know that you can purchase and mill 80 percent receivers without a license?
No. 5; by either of which I was fully authorized to seize and impound all trespassers—a limit and license that included dragons.The Bushman|Edward Wilson Landor
It must not be supposed that the immorality of the comic stage consists in the license of language, incident or plot.Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature|John Addington Symonds
He saw it was time to check the license, ere mischief grew irretrievable.Cradock Nowell, Vol. 1 (of 3)|Richard Doddridge Blackmore
The license of invention some people take is monstrous indeed.The School For Scandal|Richard Brinsley Sheridan
"I reckon Newty's got a license ter dwell in this-hyar house," she belligerently asserted.The Code of the Mountains|Charles Neville Buck