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
b : preclude

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 The February draft, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., would free states to prohibit almost all abortions, except possibly to save the life of the mother. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 The Mississippi law remains under review by the Supreme Court, but 26 states are certain or likely to prohibit abortions if Roe is overturned, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health policy research organization. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 9 May 2022 State law contains a provision that would prohibit all abortions except those that would prevent the death of the mother and would go into effect 30 days after the Roe ruling is struck down. Amanda Watts, CNN, 6 May 2022 Trillium said that 40% of TJX stores, including the T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls chains, are located in states that could immediately prohibit abortions if Roe is overturned. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, 4 May 2022 The Center for Reproductive Rights has identified 24 states that would potentially prohibit abortions if Roe is overturned. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 3 May 2022 French laws prohibit wearing ostentatious religious symbols — the head scarf is considered one — in schools. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2022 The Idaho Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a new law in the state that would prohibit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy from going into effect later this month. Kyle Morris, Fox News, 8 Apr. 2022 For example, GoFundMe and Patreon, which lets fans pay creators, prohibit military fundraising. Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prohibit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for prohibit


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on prohibit

Nglish: Translation of prohibit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prohibit for Arabic Speakers


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