pro·hib·it | \prō-ˈhi-bət, prə-\
prohibited; prohibiting; prohibits

Definition of prohibit 

transitive verb

1 : to forbid by authority : enjoin

2a : to prevent from doing something

b : preclude

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Synonyms & Antonyms for prohibit


ban, bar, enjoin, forbid, interdict, outlaw, proscribe


allow, let, permit, suffer

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Choose the Right Synonym for prohibit

forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church inhibit implies restraints or restrictions that amount to prohibitions, not only by authority but also by the exigencies of the time or situation. conditions inhibiting the growth of free trade

Examples of prohibit in a Sentence

The rules prohibit dating a coworker. The prison's electric fence prohibits escape.

Recent Examples on the Web

Judge Joan Alexander issued a protective order prohibiting him from harassing or contacting the victim. Jon Lender,, "'It's Awful': Sadness, Anger Expressed Over Landry's Impact On Young Woman In Years Of Secret Affair," 11 July 2018 But the drug is prohibited under U.S. federal law and is classified as Schedule I, on par with heroin. Author: Lornet Turnbull, Katie Zezima, Anchorage Daily News, "When marijuana is legal in Canada, Americans are expected to flock. But the border, and US law, stands in the way.," 11 July 2018 Of the loan to Sinclair, Essigs, of the Arizona School Association of Business Officials, noted that state law prohibits a traditional public school district from loaning money to employees. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Arizona charter school founder makes millions building his own schools," 11 July 2018 But the complaint implies the donor could have been legally prohibited from contributing to Greitens' campaign. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Top Pence aide Nick Ayers denies breaking the law while running Greitens campaign," 11 July 2018 Willis said federal regulations prohibit hanging banners from the monument. Jennifer Peltz And Jake Pearson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Protester climbs up Statue of Liberty in defense of border families," 5 July 2018 The charges related to the law prohibiting dancers from touching customers and customers touching dancers - excluding immediate family members. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Stormy Daniels' charges dropped; arrest part of "sting operation," lawyer says," 12 July 2018 Tthe charges relate to a 2007 state law called the Community Defense Act that prohibits dancers from touching customers and vice versa – excluding immediate family members. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Ohio has rarely used 2007 law that protects strippers: report," 12 July 2018 This would allow the Soviet Union to get around the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibit the stockpiling of chemical weapons and precursors. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Second Novichok poisoning in Britain raises alarm, questions over contamination," 5 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prohibit

Middle English, from Latin prohibitus, past participle of prohibēre to keep off, from pro- forward + habēre to hold — more at pro-, give

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Statistics for prohibit

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prohibit

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

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More Definitions for prohibit



English Language Learners Definition of prohibit

: to order (someone) not to use or do something

: to say that (something) is not allowed

: to make (something) impossible to do


pro·hib·it | \prō-ˈhi-bət \
prohibited; prohibiting

Kids Definition of prohibit

1 : to forbid by authority Parking is prohibited.

2 : to make impossible The high walls prohibit escape.

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