- authoritative permission or approval, as for an action.
- something that serves to support an action, condition, etc.
- something that gives binding force, as to an oath, rule of conduct, etc.
- a provision of a law enacting a penalty for disobedience or a reward for obedience.
- the penalty or reward.
- International Law. action by one or more states toward another state calculated to force it to comply with legal obligations.
- to authorize, approve, or allow: an expression now sanctioned by educated usage.
- to ratify or confirm: to sanction a law.
- to impose a sanction on; penalize, especially by way of discipline.
Origin of sanction
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sanction on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sanctioned
The Moscow protest was not sanctioned, which meant every participant risked arrest.Russia’s Rebel In Chief Escapes House Arrest
December 30, 2014
Before Cuba was shunned and sanctioned, it was a handy place for the randy.Will Hyman Roth Return to Havana With Normalized Relations?
John L. Smith
December 18, 2014
In FDA sanctioned studies using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat veterans with PTSD, the success rate has been astounding.Psychedelics Are Ready for a Comeback
September 8, 2014
But in federal court, if you pursue an “objectively baseless” claim, you can be sanctioned by the court (PDF) under Rule 11.Obama Should Counter John Boehner’s Lawsuit—and Here’s How He Can Do It
July 9, 2014
Cardin said Tuesday he was not sure yet if Bastrykin was sanctioned secretly by the administration.Obama Targets Russian Mob Boss
May 20, 2014
If his accession had seemed even a likely thing at the time, it would not have been sanctioned.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
Some of the most flagrant of these, if not encouraged, have at least been sanctioned by the whites.Chronicles of Border Warfare
Alexander Scott Withers
They were sanctioned by the authority of heaven, and it was deemed impiety to alter them.The Republic
How could anything that was wrong be sanctioned by the gods?Lotus Buds
Its publication we may be sure would never have been sanctioned by Johnson.James Boswell
William Keith Leask
- final permission; authorization
- aid or encouragement
- something, such as an ethical principle, that imparts binding force to a rule, oath, etc
- the penalty laid down in a law for contravention of its provisions
- (often plural) a coercive measure, esp one taken by one or more states against another guilty of violating international law
- to give authority to; permit
- to make authorized; confirm
Word Origin and History for sanctioned
early 15c., "confirmation or enactment of a law," from Latin sanctionem (nominative sanctio) "act of decreeing or ordaining," also "decree, ordinance," noun of action from past participle stem of sancire "to decree, confirm, ratify, make sacred" (see saint (n.)). Originally especially of ecclesiastical decrees.
1778, "confirm by sanction, make valid or binding;" 1797 as "to permit authoritatively;" from sanction (n.). Seemingly contradictory meaning "impose a penalty on" is from 1956 but is rooted in an old legalistic sense of the noun. Related: Sanctioned; sanctioning.