pro·​hib·​it | \ prō-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce prohibit (audio) , prə- \
prohibited; prohibiting; prohibits

Definition of prohibit

transitive verb

1 : to forbid by authority : enjoin
2a : to prevent from doing something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for prohibit



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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 Carnival celebrations are in question across the region because of coronavirus social distancing regulations that may prohibit large gatherings. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer,, "Two Slidell Mardi Gras parades, Perseus and Slidellians, cancel their 2021 processions," 15 Oct. 2020 Twitter and Facebook have extensive and well-documented content rules that prohibit everything from electoral to health disinformation. Mike Ananny, Wired, "Put Trump's Tweets on a Time Delay," 9 Oct. 2020 Areas where clusters are occurring will have to close schools and essential businesses except for take-out dining, limit gatherings at houses of worship to 25% with a maximum of 10 people and prohibit mass gatherings, the governor said. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "Half of US states are reporting increased Covid-19 cases and some leaders push new measures," 7 Oct. 2020 The 1978 law allows Gordon to prohibit gatherings for any purpose and may establish rules during COVID-19 to protect public health. Scott Mcclallen, Washington Examiner, "Whitmer's administration issues statewide facemask order after past orders tossed," 6 Oct. 2020 The London demonstration lost its exemption from rules that prohibit gatherings of more than six people, the police said, after protesters failed to stick to the organizers’ pledge to socially distance. Keith Campbell,, "Thousands Protest Virus Restrictions in London as Cases Surge," 26 Sep. 2020 The group further wants a judge to prohibit officers who have allegedly violated the court order from participating in other crowd control operations and fine the city to deter future violations. oregonlive, "Don’t Shoot Portland seeks sanctions against city, challenging police ‘bull rushing,’ shoving and striking of protesters with batons," 16 Aug. 2020 Cahill rejected a defense request to reconsider his earlier decision to prohibit cameras in the courtroom during pretrial proceedings. Washington Post, "Judge warns of possible move of trial in George Floyd death," 29 June 2020 Baltimore County Councilman Wade Kach responded to complaints by sponsoring a bill that would prohibit hemp farms within 2,000 feet of a residential property. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii,, "Baltimore County Council delays vote on restrictions for hemp farming," 5 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for prohibit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for prohibit

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prohibit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for prohibit


How to pronounce prohibit (audio)

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 How to pronounce prohibit (audio) \
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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Comments on prohibit

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