pro·​hi·​bi·​tion | \ ˌprō-ə-ˈbi-shən How to pronounce prohibition (audio) also ˌprō-hə- How to pronounce prohibition (audio) \

Definition of prohibition

1 : the act of prohibiting by authority
2 : an order to restrain or stop
3 often capitalized : the forbidding by law of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic liquors except for medicinal and sacramental purposes

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Examples of prohibition in a Sentence

the city's prohibition of smoking in restaurants a prohibition against parking on the street
Recent Examples on the Web The council — with the USOPC's support — sent a letter with its recommendations to the International Olympic Committee to end the prohibition of peaceful demonstrations by team members at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "U.S. says it won't punish athletes for peacefully protesting at Olympic Games," 11 Dec. 2020 The allowance includes a series of rules, including the requirement to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and refrain from gatherings outside the household as well as the prohibition of alcohol use. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, "Manhattan Beach repurposes closed outdoor dining areas for public seating," 9 Dec. 2020 In Anchorage, no indoor competitions are currently allowed under city health mandates, and with COVID-19 cases mounting daily, that prohibition could last through the winter. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "High school hockey will look different this school year as Anchorage looks to spring and Fairbanks considers heading outdoors," 11 Dec. 2020 Last year the Washington state Legislature overturned that prohibition—but then was itself overturned when a movement led mostly by Asian-Americans forced the issue onto the ballot, where voters rejected it. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Misleading Washington’s Voters on Race," 11 Dec. 2020 Airlines are currently prohibited from refusing service dogs based on their breed, and that prohibition will continue under the new rules. Julia Thompson, USA TODAY, "New DOT rule paves the way for airlines to ban emotional support animals on flights," 2 Dec. 2020 Milton was been prohibited from selling those shares in the months following Nikola’s September stock market debut, but that prohibition expires tomorrow, December 1 – just as his company sheds billions of dollars in value. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Why today’s GM news is devastating for Nikola," 30 Nov. 2020 That prohibition was put into the state constitution by 55 percent of the state’s voters in 1996. John Fund, National Review, "Will Democrats Learn from Their Identity-Politics Disaster in California?," 29 Nov. 2020 Ellison said his office has civil authority to enforce that prohibition and seek relief if necessary. James Walsh, Star Tribune, "Minnesota sues Wabasha County gym over COVID-19 restrictions," 25 Nov. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for prohibition

Time Traveler

The first known use of prohibition was in the 14th century

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Statistics for prohibition

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prohibition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for prohibition


How to pronounce prohibition (audio) How to pronounce prohibition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prohibition

: the act of not allowing something to be used or done
: a law or order that stops something from being used or done
: the period of time from 1920 to 1933 in the U.S. when it was illegal to make or sell alcohol


pro·​hi·​bi·​tion | \ ˌprō-ə-ˈbi-shən How to pronounce prohibition (audio) \

Kids Definition of prohibition

1 : the act of making something illegal or impossible
2 : the forbidding by law of the sale or manufacture of alcoholic liquids for use as beverages


pro·​hi·​bi·​tion | \ ˌprō-ə-ˈbi-shən How to pronounce prohibition (audio) \

Legal Definition of prohibition

1a : an extraordinary writ issued by a higher court commanding an inferior court to keep within its proper jurisdiction (as by ceasing a prosecution)
b : an order to refrain or stop
2a : something (as a law) that prohibits a certain act or procedure
b capitalized : the period from 1920 to 1933 in the U.S. when the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic liquors was prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Other Words from prohibition

prohibitive \ prō-​ˈhi-​bə-​tiv How to pronounce prohibition (audio) \ adjective
prohibitively adverb
prohibitory \ -​ˈhi-​bə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce prohibition (audio) \ adjective

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