- 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 sanctioning
While these entities may find common cause in the act of sanctioning, they often espouse different goals.Why Aren’t Sanctions Stopping Putin?
Meghan L. O’Sullivan
May 13, 2014
“This is the first time a pope has talked about sanctioning bishops,” he said.Why Pope Francis’s Apology Isn’t Good Enough for Sex Abuse Victims
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 11, 2014
Both countries have cooperated, at times, on sanctioning Iran for its nuclear program.Ex- CIA Chief: Why We Keep Getting Putin Wrong
Eli Lake, Noah Shachtman, Christopher Dickey
March 2, 2014
My CNN column explores the purposes -- and limits -- of sanctioning the Iranian regime.Iran Sanctions: What's the Mission?
October 15, 2012
This leaves the sanctioning countries with only two policies: Regime change or war.Sanctions Make War More Likely
March 23, 2012
Are there any Canons of these churches, sanctioning the practice?
Great beings, not in receipt of sacrifice, sanctioning morality.Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1
The result was that our native church was saved from sanctioning polygamy.Mary and I
Stephen Return Riggs
He has the power of sanctioning the appointment of their patriarch, after he has been selected by their bishops.Cyprus
Franz von Lher
From His Holiness himself have I letters, sanctioning the matter.The Hill of Venus
- 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 sanctioning
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.