- a provision of a law enacting a penalty for disobedience or a reward for obedience.
- the penalty or reward.
verb (used with object)
- sanction mark,
Origin of sanction
Examples from the Web for unsanctioned
Many are invoking the doctrine of “responsibility to protect,” or RtoP, to justify immediate and unsanctioned action.What Assad Wants in Syria: Unsanctioned International Military Action|Salman Shaikh|February 15, 2012|DAILY BEAST
All attempts to deviate from the natural way are, therefore, unsanctioned by the nature of things.The Mystery of Space|Robert T. Browne
Gold in the end, unsanctioned by right divine, weighs up the other forces, supernatural as they are.The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume I.(of III) 1555-66|John Lothrop Motley
It was more people than I'd ever stood among, as part of an unscheduled, unsanctioned, illegal event.Little Brother|Cory Doctorow
Word Origin for sanction
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.