in·​junc·​tion | \ in-ˈjəŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce injunction (audio) \

Definition of injunction

1 : a writ granted by a court of equity whereby one is required to do or to refrain from doing a specified act
2 : the act or an instance of enjoining : order, admonition

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Other Words from injunction

injunctive \ in-​ˈjəŋ(k)-​tiv How to pronounce injunctive (audio) \ 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 Legal experts say lawsuit has no merit Trump's campaign lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction preventing the state from certifying election results. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "We asked nine legal experts about Trump's latest lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania. Their verdict: Dead on arrival.," 10 Nov. 2020 The latter restrictions would have gone into effect Thursday, but a preliminary injunction issued last month by a federal judge blocked them from taking effect. Brian Fung, CNN, "TikTok asks court to step in as sale deadline looms," 10 Nov. 2020 Great Northern Resources, a small logging company in John Day, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against the Oregon Cares Fund in the U.S. District Court in Portland on Saturday. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Logging company seeks restraining order to block state fund to aid Black Oregonians," 9 Nov. 2020 Uber and Lyft alone gained more than $10 billion in market value after the vote, and defanged a recent state court injunction that would have required them to reclassify their drivers as employees. Josh Eidelson,, "Election Day Gave Uber and Lyft a Whole New Road Map," 8 Nov. 2020 In October, an appeals court upheld a preliminary injunction from the San Francisco Superior Court judge in that case to force immediate reclassification. Carolyn Said,, "Proposition 22, California gig-work ballot measure backed by Uber and Lyft, passes," 4 Nov. 2020 Sullivan also said that the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, should also have to explain his agency’s failures to make meaningful changes within the agency after an injunction in early October aimed at boosting mail delivery speeds. Maya Lau, Los Angeles Times, "Federal judge slams U.S. Postal Service and orders search for mail ballots in Texas facilities," 4 Nov. 2020 Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman issued her ruling on Monday, which also contained a permanent injunction, instructing the governor not to issue further orders that would be similarly improper. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Judge rules California Gov. Newsom's vote-by-mail order was improper," 2 Nov. 2020 By midsummer, the program asked the court to remove Clarida, but not Jacob, through an injunction that a judge later denied. Washington Post, "Domestic violence survivors say they were kicked out by the housing program that promised to help them," 30 Oct. 2020

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 2

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

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Time Traveler for injunction

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

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Injunction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for injunction


How to pronounce injunction (audio)

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 How to pronounce injunction (audio) \

Kids Definition of injunction

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


in·​junc·​tion | \ in-ˈjəŋk-shən How to pronounce injunction (audio) \

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

History and Etymology for injunction

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

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