in·junc·tion | \in-ˈjəŋ(k)-shən \

Definition of injunction 

1 : the act or an instance of enjoining : order, admonition

2 : a writ granted by a court of equity whereby one is required to do or to refrain from doing a specified act

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Other Words from injunction

injunctive \in-ˈjəŋ(k)-tiv \ adjective

Did You Know?

Injunction derives, via Anglo-French and Late Latin, from the Latin verb injungere, which in turn derives from jungere, meaning "to join." Like our verb enjoin, injungere means "to direct or impose by authoritative order or with urgent admonition." (Not surprisingly, enjoin is also a descendant of injungere.) Injunction has been around in English since at least the 15th century, when it began life as a word meaning "authoritative command." In the 16th century it developed a legal second sense applying to a court order. It has also been used as a synonym of conjunction, another jungere descendant meaning "union," but that sense is extremely rare.

Examples of injunction in a Sentence

The group has obtained an injunction to prevent the demolition of the building. in the cult there were injunctions for and against everything, as nothing was a matter of personal choice

Recent Examples on the Web

For the racetrack, the $3.4 million guaranteed by the injunction bond is just an appetizer. Andrew Maykuth,, "N.J. racetrack that won legal battle over sports betting now wants NFL, NBA to pay up," 9 July 2018 Transgender groups like Sparta initially hailed the court injunctions last fall as victories. New York Times, "Ban Was Lifted, but Transgender Recruits Still Can’t Join Up," 5 July 2018 Edward Cohan, a lawyer and member of the neighborhood group, which claims 250 members, said the association has filed suit in L.A. Superior Court for both a temporary and permanent injunction to prevent this or any future event in a city park. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "When Paramount's 75-Foot Hollywood Sign Stunt Pushed Locals Too Far," 5 July 2018 On Friday in Los Angeles, however, Justice Department lawyers filed a legal notice arguing that Tuesday’s injunction by a federal judge barring the separation of migrant families cancels out the Flores agreement. Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Administration Claims Right to Detain Migrant Families Indefinitely," 30 June 2018 Rothstein granted the order and set the matter for an injunction hearing, with the Root-Thalmans' attorneys also present, for August. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Judge orders couple charged in scam not to enter elderly woman's home," 28 June 2018 The suit seeks a ruling that Connecticut’s redistricting plan is unconstitutional as well as an injunction barring the use of the current legislative maps for the 2020 elections. Matthew Kauffman,, "NAACP Sues Connecticut Over 'Prison Gerrymandering'," 28 June 2018 The Justice Department had considered filing an injunction after the judge, Richard J. Leon of US District Court in Washington, approved the deal on June 12., "Justice Department plans appeal of AT&T-Time Warner merger approval," 12 July 2018 The Justice Department had considered filing an injunction to stop the deal from closing after the judge, Richard J. Leon of United States District Court in Washington, approved it on June 12. New York Times, "AT&T-Time Warner Deal Approval Gets Justice Department Challenge," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'injunction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of injunction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for injunction

Middle English injunccion, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French enjunxion, from Late Latin injunction-, injunctio, from Latin injungere to enjoin — more at enjoin

Middle French injonction, from Late Latin injunction-, injunctio, from Latin injungere to enjoin, from in- in + jungere to join

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for injunction

The first known use of injunction was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for injunction



Financial Definition of injunction

What It Is

An injunction is a court order that requires a party to stop doing certain things.

How It Works

In the business world, injunctions sometimes involve intellectual property. Let's say that Company XYZ is a restaurant company. It has trademarked its name ("Donuts and Company") and has decorated all of its restaurants in the same, distinct way (striped awnings in front of the stores, special light fixtures, and a particular color scheme inside the restaurants). The company is doing well and opening a lot of restaurants around the country.

Jane Smith visits a Donuts and Company store one day while she is vacationing in Miami. She thinks her small town in Arizona could use a restaurant like Donuts and Company. Instead of becoming a franchisee, she starts a knock-off. She leases a site in Arizona, puts together a very similar menu, and decorates her "Donuts and Friends" restaurant with the same colors and distinctive awning outside.

One day, Donuts and Company catches wind of Jane's venture. They send an executive out to her restaurant to take pictures and collect evidence of Jane's efforts to imitate Donuts and Company. Then they sue Jane for trademark infringement. The judge issues an injunction, ordering Jane to stop selling food under the "Donuts and Friends" name, to change her trade dress (decorative appearance), and to stop using the Donuts and Company menu.

Some injunctions are preliminary injunctions, which means that a party is prohibited from doing something until the court has made a further decision. That further decision may involve issuing a permanent injunction, which forbids a party from doing something indefinitely or until certain conditions are met. Restraining orders are a kind of injunction.

Why It Matters

Injunctions are an alternative to monetary judgments, in which the court might order a party to pay damages to another party. In some cases, they are much better for defendants to deal with; in Jane's case, the monetary damages could have come with a much higher cost if Donuts and Company alleged that it lost business in Arizona due to Jane's knock-off. In some cases, they are better for plaintiffs as well.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of injunction

law : an order from a court of law that says something must be done or must not be done


in·junc·tion | \in-ˈjəŋk-shən \

Kids Definition of injunction

: a court order commanding or forbidding the doing of some act

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in·junc·tion | \in-ˈjəŋk-shən \

Legal Definition of injunction 

: an equitable remedy in the form of a court order compelling a party to do or refrain from doing a specified act — compare cease-and-desist order at order sense 3b, damage, declaratory judgment at judgment sense 1a, mandamus, specific performance at performance, stay

Note: An injunction is available as a remedy for harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law. Thus it is used to prevent a future harmful action rather than to compensate for an injury that has already occurred, or to provide relief from harm for which an award of money damages is not a satisfactory solution or for which a monetary value is impossible to calculate. A defendant who violates an injunction is subject to penalty for contempt.

affirmative injunction

: an injunction requiring a positive act on the part of the defendant : mandatory injunction in this entry

final injunction

: permanent injunction in this entry

interlocutory injunction

: an injunction that orders the maintenance of the status quo between the parties prior to a final determination of the matter specifically : preliminary injunction in this entry

mandatory injunction

: an injunction that compels the defendant to do some positive act rather than simply to maintain the situation as it was when the action was brought — compare prohibitory injunction in this entry

permanent injunction

: an injunction imposed after a hearing and remaining in force at least until the defendant has complied with its provisions

called also final injunction, perpetual injunction

preliminary injunction

: an interlocutory injunction issued before a trial for purposes of preventing the defendant from acting in a way that will irreparably harm the plaintiff's ability to enforce his or her rights at the trial

called also temporary injunction

— compare temporary restraining order at order

Note: Before a preliminary injunction can be issued, there must be a hearing with prior notice to the defendant. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, the hearing and the trial may be consolidated.

prohibitory injunction

: an injunction that prohibits the defendant from taking a particular action and maintains the positions of the parties until there is a hearing to determine the matter in dispute

temporary injunction

: preliminary injunction in this entry

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Comments on injunction

What made you want to look up injunction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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