prohibition

[ proh-uh-bish-uhn ]
/ ˌproʊ əˈbɪʃ ən /

noun

the act of prohibiting.
the legal prohibiting of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic drinks for common consumption.
(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.
a law or decree that forbids.

Origin of prohibition

1275–1325; Middle English < Latin prohibitiōn- (stem of prohibitiō). See prohibit, -ion

Related forms

pro·hi·bi·tion·ar·y, adjectivean·ti·pro·hi·bi·tion, adjective, nounnon·pro·hi·bi·tion, nounpre·pro·hi·bi·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prohibition

British Dictionary definitions for prohibition (1 of 2)

prohibition

/ (ˌprəʊɪˈbɪʃən) /

noun

the act of prohibiting or state of being prohibited
an order or decree that prohibits
(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
law an order of a superior court (in Britain the High Court) forbidding an inferior court to determine a matter outside its jurisdiction

Derived Forms

prohibitionary, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for prohibition (2 of 2)

Prohibition

/ (ˌprəʊɪˈbɪʃən) /

noun

the period (1920–33) when the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors was banned by constitutional amendment in the US

Derived Forms

Prohibitionist, 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

Culture definitions for prohibition

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 The amendment, enforced by the Volstead Act, was repealed by another amendment to the Constitution in 1933.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.