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

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 In addition, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act a decade ago, which prohibits discrimination in health insurance and employment based on genetic information. Eric Dishman, STAT, "I handed over my genetic data to the NIH. Here’s why you should, too," 13 June 2018 Students who testified in favor of a pay equity bill prohibiting employers from asking prospective hires about their pay history returned Tuesday to the state Capitol to watch that bill be signed into law. Mikaela Porter,, "Pay Equity Bill Signed Into Law Tuesday, Hear From Students Who Helped Get It Passed," 22 May 2018 Allchin mentioned multiple policies to help prevent those who shouldn't from accessing guns, including safe storage laws, accountability for firearm owners, and prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing and possessing firearms. Sarah Midkiff,, "Toxic Masculinity Seems To Be A Theme Yet Again With The Santa Fe Shooting," 20 May 2018 Some even bet on whether the Supreme Court would strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, which prohibits most sports gambling in states other than Nevada. The Economist, "The Supreme Court lets Americans lose money in a new way," 17 May 2018 Elgin is one step closer to joining a growing list of towns that prohibit the sale of tobacco, nicotine and related products to those under the age of 21. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin moves closer to banning tobacco sales to people under 21; final vote July 25," 12 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

14 Sep 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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Comments on prohibit

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


characteristic trappings or dress

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