per·​mit | \ pər-ˈmit \
permitted; permitting

Definition of permit

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to consent to expressly or formally permit access to records
2 : to give leave : authorize
3 : to make possible the design permits easy access

intransitive verb

: to give an opportunity : allow if time permits


noun (1)
per·​mit | \ ˈpər-ˌmit , pər-ˈmit\

Definition of permit (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a written warrant or license granted by one having authority a gun permit


noun (2)
per·​mit | \ ˈpər-ˌmit , pər-ˈmit \

Definition of permit (Entry 3 of 3)

: either of two pompanos (Trachinotus falcatus and T. goodei) that are important game fishes of temperate to tropical waters of the western Atlantic

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Other Words from permit


permittee \ pər-​ˌmi(t)-​ˈtē , ˌpər-​mi(t)-​ \ noun
permitter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for permit

Synonyms: Verb

allow, green-light, have, suffer

Antonyms: Verb

ban, enjoin, forbid, prohibit, proscribe, veto

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Examples of permit in a Sentence


The judge permitted the release of the prisoner. Smoking is not permitted in the building. When we arrived at customs we realized we had more than the permitted number of items. He permitted himself one more cookie. The new ramp permits easier access to the highway.
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First Known Use of permit


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for permit


Middle English permitten, from Latin permittere to let through, permit, from per- through + mittere to let go, send

Noun (2)

perhaps by folk etymology from Spanish palometa, a kind of pompano, from diminutive of paloma dove, from Latin palumba, palumbes — more at palomino

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Statistics for permit

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Time Traveler for permit

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

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More Definitions for permit



English Language Learners Definition of permit

: to allow (something) to happen : to give permission for (something)
: to allow (someone) to do or have something
: to make something possible


per·​mit | \ pər-ˈmit \
permitted; permitting

Kids Definition of permit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to allow to happen or do : give permission
2 : to make possible : give an opportunity We'll visit the museum if time permits.


per·​mit | \ ˈpər-ˌmit \

Kids Definition of permit (Entry 2 of 2)

: a statement of permission (as a license or pass) You need a parking permit.


per·​mit | \ ˈpər-ˌmit, pər-ˈmit \

Legal Definition of permit

: a written warrant or license granted by one having authority a building permit

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More from Merriam-Webster on permit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for permit

Spanish Central: Translation of permit

Nglish: Translation of permit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of permit for Arabic Speakers

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