[ per-mis-iv ]
/ pərˈmɪs ɪv /


habitually or characteristically accepting or tolerant of something, as social behavior or linguistic usage, that others might disapprove or forbid.
granting or denoting permission: a permissive nod.
Genetics. (of a cell) permitting replication of a strand of DNA that could be lethal, as a viral segment or mutant gene.

Origin of permissive

1425–75; late Middle English; see permission, -ive; compare French permissif

OTHER WORDS FROM permissive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for permissive

British Dictionary definitions for permissive

/ (pəˈmɪsɪv) /


tolerant; lenientpermissive parents
indulgent in matters of sexa permissive society
granting permission
archaic not obligatory

Derived forms of permissive

permissively, adverbpermissiveness, 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