prohibit

play
verb pro·hib·it \ prō-ˈhi-bət , prə- \

Definition of prohibit

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

Examples of prohibit in a Sentence

  1. The rules prohibit dating a coworker.

  2. The prison's electric fence prohibits escape.

Recent Examples of prohibit from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of prohibit

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

PROHIBIT Defined for English Language Learners

prohibit

play
verb

Definition of prohibit for English Language Learners

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

  • : to say that (something) is not allowed

  • : to make (something) impossible to do


PROHIBIT Defined for Kids

prohibit

play
verb pro·hib·it \ prō-ˈhi-bət \

Definition of prohibit for Students

prohibited; prohibiting
1 :to forbid by authority
  • Parking is prohibited.
2 :to make impossible
  • The high walls prohibit escape.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up prohibit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!