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 Oregon’s prohibition on contributions in a false name. oregonlive, "Case Closed: In Oregon campaign investigations, ‘I did not’ is all it takes," 17 Sep. 2019 The policies don’t amount to outright prohibitions, in particular because stores generally haven’t said how their workers should deal with customers who don’t voluntarily follow the rules., "The chief executives of 145 US companies pressed Senate leaders to expand background checks to all firearms sales and implement stronger ‘‘red flag’’ laws, marking the latest push by corporate America to pressure Congress to take meaningful action on gun violence.," 13 Sep. 2019 An all-out prohibition on the controversial natural gas extraction process — backed by Sens. Nicholas Riccardi, The Denver Post, "Democrats step on shaky political ground with fracking bans," 10 Sep. 2019 At Esalen, Grof kept the flame alive in the face of prohibition, largely by pursuing psychedelic states of consciousness through breathing techniques and without the use of drugs. Wallace Baine,, "What’s next for the Esalen Institute?," 5 Sep. 2019 Despite talk of prohibitions around the world, many farmers fear that losing Roundup will reduce their yields—and have made their concerns known to their political representatives. The Economist, "Glyphosate woes prompt calls to split up Bayer," 18 July 2019 The prohibition, which has been in place since August under an urgency ordinance, will now head to the City Council for review. Hillary Davis,, "Costa Mesa Planning Commission backs making local needle exchange ban permanent," 9 July 2019 But like any community that touts prohibition, there’s also a black market where alcohol is readily available and exorbitantly expensive. USA Today, "Alaska is considered the deadliest state for women. A staggering 59% of women there have experienced violence.," 25 June 2019 The prohibition on riding at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium — and their parking lots — came as a result of a request by the Maryland Stadium Authority, said German Vigil, a Department of Transportation spokesman. Colin Campbell,, "Proposed scooter rules would restrict speeds along Baltimore's harbor, prohibit riding at Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium," 5 June 2019

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

27 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prohibition.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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

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Comments on prohibition

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


not agreeing with established beliefs

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