prohibition

[proh-uh-bish-uhn]
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noun
  1. the act of prohibiting.
  2. the legal prohibiting of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic drinks for common consumption.
  3. (often initial capital letter) the period (1920–33) when the Eighteenth Amendment was in force and alcoholic beverages could not legally be manufactured, transported, or sold in the U.S.
  4. a law or decree that forbids.

Origin of prohibition

1275–1325; Middle English < Latin prohibitiōn- (stem of prohibitiō). See prohibit, -ion
Related formspro·hi·bi·tion·ar·y, adjectivean·ti·pro·hi·bi·tion, adjective, nounnon·pro·hi·bi·tion, nounpre·pro·hi·bi·tion, noun

Synonyms for prohibition

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


Examples from the Web for prohibition

Contemporary Examples of prohibition

Historical Examples of prohibition


British Dictionary definitions for prohibition

prohibition

noun
  1. the act of prohibiting or state of being prohibited
  2. an order or decree that prohibits
  3. (sometimes capital) (esp in the US) a policy of legally forbidding the manufacture, transportation, sale, or consumption of alcoholic beverages except for medicinal or scientific purposes
  4. law an order of a superior court (in Britain the High Court) forbidding an inferior court to determine a matter outside its jurisdiction
Derived Formsprohibitionary, adjective

Prohibition

noun
  1. the period (1920–33) when the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors was banned by constitutional amendment in the US
Derived FormsProhibitionist, 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 prohibition
n.

late 14c., "act of prohibiting, a forbidding by authority," from Anglo-French and Old French prohibition (early 13c.), from Latin prohibitionem (nominative prohibitio) "a hindering, forbidding; legal prohibition," noun of action from past participle stem of prohibere "hold back, restrain, hinder, prevent," from pro- "away, forth" (see pro-) + habere "to hold" (see habit). Meaning "forced alcohol abstinence" is 1851, American English; in effect nationwide in U.S. as law 1920-1933 under the Volstead Act.

People whose youth did not coincide with the twenties never had our reverence for strong drink. Older men knew liquor before it became the symbol of a sacred cause. Kids who began drinking after 1933 take it as a matter of course. ... Drinking, we proved to ourselves our freedom as individuals and flouted Congress. We conformed to a popular type of dissent -- dissent from a minority. It was the only period during which a fellow could be smug and slopped concurrently. [A.J. Liebling, "Between Meals," 1959]

Related: Prohibitionist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prohibition in Culture

Prohibition

[(proh-uh-bish-uhn)]

The outlawing of alcoholic beverages nationwide from 1920 to 1933, under an amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, enforced by the Volstead Act, was repealed by another amendment to the Constitution in 1933.

Note

Prohibition is often mentioned in discussions of how much social change can be brought about through law, because alcohol was widely, though illegally, produced and sold during Prohibition; it was served privately in the White House under President Warren Harding, for example.

Note

Many use the example of Prohibition to argue that more harm than good comes from the enactment of laws that are sure to be widely disobeyed.

Note

Some states and localities (called “dry”) had outlawed the production and sale of alcohol before the Prohibition amendment was adopted. The repealing amendment allowed individual states and localities to remain “dry,” and some did for many years.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.