noun sanc·tion \ˈsaŋ(k)-shən\

: an action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country, etc.

: official permission or approval

Full Definition of SANCTION

:  a formal decree; especially :  an ecclesiastical decree
a obsolete :  a solemn agreement :  oath
b :  something that makes an oath binding
:  the detriment, loss of reward, or coercive intervention annexed to a violation of a law as a means of enforcing the law
a :  a consideration, principle, or influence (as of conscience) that impels to moral action or determines moral judgment
b :  a mechanism of social control for enforcing a society's standards
c :  explicit or official approval, permission, or ratification :  approbation
:  an economic or military coercive measure adopted usually by several nations in concert for forcing a nation violating international law to desist or yield to adjudication

Examples of SANCTION

  1. The country acted without the sanction of the other nations.
  2. Their policy has legal sanction.

Origin of SANCTION

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin sanction-, sanctio, from sancire to make holy — more at sacred
First Known Use: 15th century


transitive verb

: to officially accept or allow (something)

sanc·tionedsanc·tion·ing \-sh(ə-)niŋ\

Full Definition of SANCTION

:  to make valid or binding usually by a formal procedure (as ratification)
:  to give effective or authoritative approval or consent to
sanc·tion·able \-sh(ə-)nə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of SANCTION

  1. The government has sanctioned the use of force.
  2. His actions were not sanctioned by his superiors.

First Known Use of SANCTION


Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


Next Word in the Dictionary: sanctionativePrevious Word in the Dictionary: sanctimonyAll Words Near: sanction
May 28, 2015
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