Definition of permissive
1 archaic : granted on sufferance : tolerated
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
Examples of permissive in a Sentence
Some states have more permissive laws than others.
Recent Examples of permissive from the Web
Mayor Carlos Gimenez recently formed a panel to study pockets of land just outside the official Urban Development Boundary, the line that forms the western and southern frontiers between permissive building rules and low-growth restrictions.
According to the company’s numbers, the percentage of projects using the GPL dropped from 70 percent in June 2008 to about 57 percent today, while the Apache and the MIT — another permissive license — have risen to 5 and 11 percent respectively.
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.
Origin and Etymology of permissive
Middle English permyssyf, from Middle French permissif, from Latin permissus
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
PERMISSIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of permissive for English Language Learners
: giving people a lot of freedom or too much freedom to do what they want to do
Medical Definition of permissive
: supporting growth or genetic replication (as of a virus) permissive temperatures permissive monkey cells
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up permissive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).