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 injunction (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 The zero-tolerance policy had been widely in effect across the southwestern border for about two months when U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, in a June 26, 2018, preliminary injunction, ordered families to be reunited within 30 days. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biden’s task force explores legal status for separated migrant families. It could get complicated.," 7 Mar. 2021 Thursday sued the Army Corps in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asking for a preliminary injunction to stop construction — which began early this month — on the oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "Lawsuit seeks to halt Line 3 pipeline, alleging faulty approval process," 28 Dec. 2020 The city will then return to court to argue for an injunction, which would make the restraining order permanent, according to a spokeswoman for the city attorney’s office. Sarah Ravani,, "Oakland was fighting the manager of an Oakland events space who defied health orders. Then he died," 17 Dec. 2020 The church appealed to the Supreme Court, which also refused it an injunction, along with another church in California. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "DC loosens church coronavirus restrictions as Supreme Court pushes for greater religious freedom," 17 Dec. 2020 Only an 11th-hour preliminary injunction—granted in December of 2019 by a US district court in response to motions from the Fund, as well as from DaVita and Fresenius, among other petitioners—saved Karabasz’s monthly assistance. Carrie Arnold, Quartz, "Kidney dialysis is a booming business. Is it also a rigged one?," 15 Dec. 2020 The unanimous ruling dissolved an injunction, issued by a Democratic District Court judge in Travis County, that sought to bar enforcement of Abbott’s limit of drop-off locations as an impermissible burden on voting rights. Chuck Lindell, USA TODAY, "Citing a burden on minority voters, US judge overrules Texas governor's exemption for masks at polls," 28 Oct. 2020 The next day, the office also filed for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction. Alex Chhith, Star Tribune, "Minnesota AG's office settles with gym that violated COVID closure orders," 8 Mar. 2021 Unions representing Baltimore County teachers and support personnel are asking a court for a temporary restraining order and injunction against the public school board, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Lillian Reed,, "Baltimore County educator unions file legal challenge against school district over medical accommodations," 3 Mar. 2021

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

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Injunction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for injunction



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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