[ verb per-mit; noun pur-mit, per-mit ]
See synonyms for: permitpermittedpermitting on

verb (used with object),per·mit·ted, per·mit·ting.
  1. to allow to do something: Permit me to explain.

  2. to allow to be done or occur: The law does not permit the sale of such drugs.

  1. to tolerate; agree to: a law permitting Roman Catholicism in England.

  2. to afford opportunity for, or admit of: vents to permit the escape of gases.

verb (used without object),per·mit·ted, per·mit·ting.
  1. to grant permission; allow liberty to do something.

  2. to afford opportunity or possibility: Write when time permits.

  1. to allow or admit (usually followed by of): statements that permit of no denial.

  1. an authoritative or official certificate of permission; license: a fishing permit.

  2. a written order granting special permission to do something.

  1. permission.

Origin of permit

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Latin permittere “to let go through, give leave,” equivalent to per- per- + mittere “to let or make (someone) go”; see admit, commit, etc.

Other words for permit

Opposites for permit

Other words from permit

  • per·mit·tee [pur-mi-tee], /ˌpɜr mɪˈti/, noun
  • per·mit·ter, noun
  • un·per·mit·ting, adjective

Words Nearby permit

Other definitions for permit (2 of 2)

[ pur-mit ]

  1. a pompano, Trachinotus falcatus, of the waters off the West Indies.

Origin of permit

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; apparently by folk etymology from Spanish palometa palometa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use permit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for permit


verb(pəˈmɪt) -mits, -mitting or -mitted
  1. (tr) to grant permission to do something: you are permitted to smoke

  2. (tr) to consent to or tolerate: she will not permit him to come

  1. (when intr, often foll by of; when tr, often foll by an infinitive) to allow the possibility (of): the passage permits of two interpretations; his work permits him to relax nowadays

  1. an official certificate or document granting authorization; licence

  2. permission, esp written permission

Origin of permit

C15: from Latin permittere, from per- through + mittere to send

Derived forms of permit

  • permitter, 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