[verb per-mit; noun pur-mit, per-mit]
See more synonyms for permit 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.
  3. to tolerate; agree to: a law permitting Roman Catholicism in England.
  4. 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.
  3. 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.
  3. permission.

Origin of permit

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin permittere to let go through, give leave, equivalent to per- per- + mittere to let or make (someone) go. See admit, commit, etc.
Related formsper·mit·ted·ly, adverbper·mit·tee [pur-mi-tee] /ˌpɜr mɪˈti/, nounper·mit·ter, nounnon·per·mit·ted, adjectiveun·per·mit·ted, adjectiveun·per·mit·ting, adjective

Synonyms for permit

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

1. See allow.

Antonyms for permit

1. refuse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for permitting

letting, granting, sanctioning, allowing, lenient, permissive

Examples from the Web for permitting

Contemporary Examples of permitting

Historical Examples of permitting

  • The liberality of one who has much, in permitting one who has nothing to get all that he can.

  • He obeyed his instincts, permitting the will of his organism to lead him.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • "I am afraid I made a mistake in permitting the conference," he said.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The Doctor frowned at the servant for permitting the interruption.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • Garrison was up on a mount he had been accused of permitting to win last year.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

British Dictionary definitions for permitting


verb (pəˈmɪt) -mits, -mitting or -mitted
  1. (tr) to grant permission to do somethingyou are permitted to smoke
  2. (tr) to consent to or tolerateshe will not permit him to come
  3. (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
noun (ˈpɜːmɪt)
  1. an official certificate or document granting authorization; licence
  2. permission, esp written permission
Derived Formspermitter, noun

Word Origin for permit

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



late 15c., from Middle French permetre and directly from Latin permittere "let pass, let go, let loose; give up, hand over; let, allow, grant, permit," from per- "through" (see per) + mittere "let go, send" (see mission). Related: Permitted; permitting.



"written statement of permission or license," 1714, from permit (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper