permissive

adjective
per·​mis·​sive | \ pər-ˈmi-siv \

Definition of permissive

1 archaic : granted on sufferance : tolerated
2a : granting or tending to grant permission : tolerant
b : deficient in firmness or control : indulgent, lax
3 : allowing discretion : optional reduced the permissive retirement age from 65 to 62
4 : supporting growth or genetic replication (as of a virus) permissive host cells

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Other Words from permissive

permissively adverb
permissiveness noun

Examples of permissive in a Sentence

Some states have more permissive laws than others.

Recent Examples on the Web

Tumblr has been noted for having a permissive attitude towards NSFW and adult-orientated content on its service, which has previously caused it to be briefly banned in Indonesia. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Tumblr was removed from Apple’s App Store over child pornography issues," 20 Nov. 2018 Platforms adopted quasi-permissive protections — freedom of speech (excluding hate speech), freedom of association, freedom of thought, and the like — that mimicked America’s own Bill of Rights. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Death of a provocateur," 30 Nov. 2018 Arizona has some of the nation's most permissive laws regarding driverless vehicles, which was likely a factor in Kroger's decision to launch its first delivery service there. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Kroger launches autonomous grocery delivery service in Arizona," 16 Aug. 2018 On the other hand, Group B was a much more permissive take. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Volvo’s new V60 is proof the station wagon must never die," 17 Oct. 2018 This lawsuit isn’t the first time WeWork has been accused of being permissive of a drinking-heavy culture that’s turned off some female professionals. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "A former WeWork employee is suing the company over alleged sexual assaults fueled by ‘frat-boy culture’," 12 Oct. 2018 Right-wing pundits used it as a rallying cry, tying it without evidence to the Black Lives Matter movement and blaming permissive policing. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, "Last of 4 defendants pleads guilty to beating teen with disability in livestreamed Facebook attack," 12 July 2018 Although amphibious ships are designed to support Marine landings against opposing military forces, they are also used for operations in permissive or benign situations where there are no opposing forces. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Navy pushes for more amphibious assault ships," 13 July 2018 The response to Friday’s mass shooting was markedly different than after the church attack, which barely moved the needle on the gun control debate in a state with some of the most permissive firearms laws in the country. Washington Post, "Texas governor vows to look at school safety after attack," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'permissive.' 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 permissive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for permissive

Middle English permyssyf, from Middle French permissif, from Latin permissus

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for permissive

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

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More Definitions for permissive

permissive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of permissive

often disapproving : giving people a lot of freedom or too much freedom to do what they want to do

permissive

adjective
per·​mis·​sive | \ pər-ˈmis-iv \

Medical Definition of permissive

: supporting growth or genetic replication (as of a virus) permissive temperatures permissive monkey cells

permissive

adjective
per·​mis·​sive

Legal Definition of permissive

1 : based on or having permission permissive occupancy a permissive user of the vehicle
2 : granting permission or discretion (as to the court) a permissive statute
3 : not compulsory: as
a : allowed or made under a standard, rule, or provision that permits discretion or an option — see also permissive intervention at intervention, permissive presumption at presumption — compare compulsory
b : allowed under modern rules of civil procedure although not arising from the same transaction or occurrence as the one at issue in the original claim a permissive counterclaim — see also permissive joinder at joinder

Other Words from permissive

permissively adverb
permissiveness noun

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