[lahy-suh ns]


verb (used with object), li·censed, li·cens·ing.

to grant authoritative permission or license to.

Origin of license

1325–75; Middle English licence < Middle French < Medieval Latin licentia authorization, Latin: freedom, equivalent to licent- (stem of licēns, present participle of licēre to be allowed) + -ia -ia; see -ence
Related formsli·cens·a·ble, adjectiveli·cense·less, adjectiveli·cens·er; especially Law, li·cen·sor, nounde-li·cense, verb (used with object), de-li·censed, de-li·cens·ing.non·li·cens·a·ble, adjectivenon·li·censed, adjectivepre·li·cense, noun, verb (used with object), pre·li·censed, pre·li·cens··li·cense, verb (used with object), re·li·censed, re·li·cens·ing.
Can be confusedcertificate degree diploma license Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for license

Contemporary Examples of license

Historical Examples of license

  • But the license is actually got: the parson is provided: the pedant Brand is the man.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • His license as pastor of the Baptist chapel at Bedford was issued on the 9th.


    James Anthony Froude

  • And to some extent, every one, a poet be he or a cobbler, enjoys such a license.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • He ain't got any license to run a mile with a leg like that!

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • I love liberty myself, but it mustn't degenerate into license.

British Dictionary definitions for license


verb (tr)

to grant or give a licence for (something, such as the sale of alcohol)
to give permission to or for
Derived Formslicensable, adjectivelicenser or licensor, noun
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 license

see licence. Related: Licensed; licensing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper