pro·hi·bi·tion | \ ˌprō-ə-ˈbi-shən also ˌprō-hə- \

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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Synonyms & Antonyms for prohibition


ban, embargo, interdict, interdiction, proscription, veto



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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

Closer to home, the Supreme Court recently opened the door to legal sports betting across the invalidating federal prohibitions on such wagers. Gerrard Cowan, WSJ, "A Gambling ETF Bets on Global Growth," 8 July 2018 Among the key issues in the CFPB’s investigation, according to legal experts familiar with the case, was whether the Zillow plan violates federal prohibitions against paying compensation for referrals of business — kickbacks. Kenneth R. Harney,, "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shifts gears on policing Zillow. Experts say this could cost consumers.," 6 July 2018 The move comes only a few days after Delaware legalized the practice, as well as a years-long lawsuit that overturned a 1992 federal prohibition on sports wagering by the Supreme Court. Editors, USA TODAY, "Lawmakers talk immigration, Stanley Cup Finals, NASA releases Mars info: 5 things to know Thursday," 7 June 2018 In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition by overturning the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Angela Hart, sacbee, "California moves to allow legal bets on 49ers, other sports teams | The Sacramento Bee," 14 May 2018 The vote was 6-3 to strike down the entirety of the federal prohibition. Bloomberg News,, "Sports gambling ban overturned by Supreme Court," 14 May 2018 And, in one of the most underreported decisions of the last several years, Thomas cast the key fifth vote to hobble the federal prohibition on harassment in the workplace. Jill Abramson, Daily Intelligencer, "The Case for Impeaching Clarence Thomas," 18 Feb. 2018 Federal and state gun prohibitions for people convicted of domestic violence applied to Duncan, Oregon State Police officials found. The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Saga of state trooper who slapped his son continues," 15 Feb. 2018 As a result, each US attorney now has more flexibility to enforce — or not — the federal prohibition on production and sale of the drug in those states. Dan Adams,, "5 things to know about the Mass. standoff with the feds over marijuana," 9 Jan. 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for prohibition

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

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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

Prohibition : 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 \

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 \

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 \ adjective
prohibitively adverb
prohibitory \-ˈhi-bə-ˌtōr-ē \ 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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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