noun li·cense \ˈlī-sən(t)s\

: an official document, card, etc., that gives you permission to do, use, or have something

: freedom to act however you want to

: the freedom of an artist, writer, etc., to change the way something is described or shown in order to produce a work of art

Full Definition of LICENSE

a :  permission to act
b :  freedom of action
a :  a permission granted by competent authority to engage in a business or occupation or in an activity otherwise unlawful
b :  a document, plate, or tag evidencing a license granted
c :  a grant by the holder of a copyright or patent to another of any of the rights embodied in the copyright or patent short of an assignment of all rights
a :  freedom that allows or is used with irresponsibility
b :  disregard for standards of personal conduct :  licentiousness
:  deviation from fact, form, or rule by an artist or writer for the sake of the effect gained
licensed adjective

Variants of LICENSE

li·cense or li·cence \ˈlī-sən(t)s\

Examples of LICENSE

  1. The restaurant's owner applied for a license to sell liquor.
  2. His job as a reporter gives him license to go anywhere and ask anything.

Origin of LICENSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French licence, from Latin licentia, from licent-, licens, present participle of licēre to be permitted
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite



: to give official permission to (someone or something) to do or use something : to give a license to (someone or something)

: to give official permission for (something)

: to allow the use of (a name, property, etc.) through a formal agreement

li·censed also li·cencedli·cens·ing also li·cenc·ing

Full Definition of LICENSE

transitive verb
a :  to issue a license to
b :  to permit or authorize especially by formal license
:  to give permission or consent to :  allow
li·cens·able \-sən(t)-sə-bəl\ adjective
li·cen·sor \-sər, ˌli-sən-ˈsr\ also li·cens·er \-sər\ noun

Variants of LICENSE

license also licence

Examples of LICENSE

  1. The restaurant has now been licensed to sell liquor.
  2. a new drug licensed by the government
  3. The company licensed its name to others.

First Known Use of LICENSE

15th century


noun li·cense   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of LICENSE

:  a permission granted by competent authority to engage in a business or occupation or in an activity otherwise unlawful <a license to practice medicine>
license or chiefly British licence transitive verb, li·censed or chiefly British li·cenced li·cens·ing or chiefly British li·cenc·ing

Variants of LICENSE

li·cense or chiefly British li·cence \ˈlīs-ən(t)s\


Next Word in the Dictionary: license bondPrevious Word in the Dictionary: liceAll Words Near: license
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears