Definition of prohibition
Origin of prohibition
OTHER WORDS FROM prohibitionpro·hi·bi·tion·ar·y, adjectivean·ti·pro·hi·bi·tion, adjective, nounnon·pro·hi·bi·tion, nounpre·pro·hi·bi·tion, noun
Words nearby prohibition
MORE ABOUT PROHIBITION
When was Prohibition?
Prohibition refers to a period in American history when the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was made illegal. The law, which was created by the Eighteenth Amendment (ratified in 1918) to the United States Constitution and subsequently reversed by the Twenty-first Amendment (ratified in 1933), proved largely unpopular.
What was Prohibition?
Anti-alcohol advocacy, formally called the temperance movement, was popular in the United States in the early 19th century. Largely created and run by religious women, the temperance movement was a response to the perceived role that alcoholism and drunkenness played in creating crime, poverty, and trouble among families. The movement grew through the 19th century, gaining footholds in traditionally Protestant areas like New England, until 1918, when the Eighteenth Amendment (which is often called Prohibition and was enforced through the Volstead Act) was ratified. Prohibition effectively lasted from 1920–1933, and is so called because it prohibited (banned) making, selling, or transporting alcohol.
Many Americans disagreed with Prohibition, and many ignored the laws and restrictions. While alcohol consumption did fall as a result of liquor becoming more difficult to obtain, Prohibition also spawned a new area of organized crime in which bootlegging (making, transporting, and selling alcohol illegally) rose in popularity. This business could be carried out locally, but it was largely controlled by the mob, who created a national bootlegging network. Famed gangster Al Capone is said to have made $60 million every year from his bootlegging exploits. Many people also made their own alcohol from scratch, creating homemade beer or moonshine.
Prohibition was eventually repealed in 1933, amidst the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the possibilities in creating an influx of jobs through reviving the liquor industry, and actually campaigned on a platform that involved repealing Prohibition. Roosevelt easily won the election and repealed Prohibition, to much celebration.
Examples of Prohibition
“In an age when individual freedom is all, it comes as something of a shock to reflect that in the world’s most prosperous and dynamic country the prohibition of alcohol lasted for almost 14 years. Today we often think of Prohibition as a deluded experiment, instinctively associating it with images of Al Capone, the mafia, and the Valentine’s Day Massacre. In fact, the campaign to prohibit alcohol had been deeply rooted in Anglo-American society for some two centuries.”
—Dominic Sandbrook, “How Prohibition backfired and gave America an era of gangsters and speakeasies,” The Guardian, August 25, 2012
“When the 21st Amendment was ratified on this day, Dec. 5, in 1933, it ended Prohibition 13 years, 10 months, and 19 days after it began.”
—Jennifer Latson, “A Toast to the End of Prohibition,” Time, December 5, 2014
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use prohibition in a sentence
The perimeter for parking prohibitions and street closures is larger than normal and will be in effect for a longer period.
State rules adopted last April in response to the investigation had placed stricter limits on the use of seclusion — including a prohibition on isolating students behind a locked door — but did not ban prone restraints.Bill Banning Locked Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Stalls as Lawmakers Run Out of Time|by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica|January 14, 2021|ProPublica
Officials have cited China’s recent history of vaccine scandals as a reason why it continues to enforce the prohibition.Pfizer and BioNTech’s overlooked third partner will distribute the vaccine in China—and it’s facing some resistance|Grady McGregor|January 9, 2021|Fortune
The trades prompted renewed calls for stricter regulation of congressional stock ownership, with proposals ranging from a ban on trading stock while in office to an outright prohibition on stock ownership for elected officials.Lawmakers with stock holdings vote in ways that juice their portfolios, data shows|Christopher Ingraham|December 10, 2020|Washington Post
Oregon spent about $375 million on drug prohibition in that year.Oregon Just Decriminalized All Drugs – Here’s Why Voters Passed This Groundbreaking Reform|LGBTQ-Editor|December 10, 2020|No Straight News
The trade flouts a March 2014 prohibition on all exports of weaponry and military equipment to Moscow.
By the time Prohibition was on the menu, we were very much an “alcoholic Republic.”
The trend is clear: Marijuana prohibition is coming to an end.
While the end of prohibition brought an end to the alcohol black market in America, the ubiquity of it brought its own problems.
After the end of Prohibition in 1933, alcohol was once again legal throughout Arkansas.
Now, the whole Northwest groaned beneath a cast-iron prohibition law at that time, and for some years thereafter.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
In 1903 this prohibition to foreigners was disputed by a British bank-clerk who arrived in Manila for a foreign bank.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
The inferior quality of this growth at length caused its prohibition by law, as described elsewhere in this work.
In 1914, the General Assembly voted for a state-wide law providing for the prohibition of liquor.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia|Dorothy M. Torpey
These rules might be of any kind, including (subject to exceptions) a total prohibition, then or at any future time.English Poor Law Policy|Sidney Webb
British Dictionary definitions for prohibition (1 of 2)
Derived forms of prohibitionprohibitionary, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for prohibition (2 of 2)
Derived forms of ProhibitionProhibitionist, noun
Cultural definitions for prohibition
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.