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

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 Jennifer Rider-Shaw and Chelsea Preston) get off the hook by turning their crimes into showbiz — than about women negotiating the tricky new landscape of independence and prohibition. New York Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Meanwhile, officials in Highland Park, which bans the possession of assault-style rifles and large-capacity magazines within city limits, are pressing for a similar prohibition at the state level. John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, 3 Aug. 2022 This mound prohibition would apply to catchers as well. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Shortly after, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who has Southern roots, voiced support for ending federal prohibition. Jessica Billingsley, Rolling Stone, 9 June 2022 This prohibition does not extend to Russian military officers, including generals, several of whom have died on the battlefield. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Notably, new redistricting language in the state constitution says the court can’t draw state legislative lines, but there’s no such prohibition apply to drawing congressional districts. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 6 May 2022 The court also struck down a state prohibition in Maine on using public money to attend schools that offer religious instruction. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 28 July 2022 Sometimes those individual choices involve other substances that have faced federal prohibition, namely cannabis. Jason Wilson, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of prohibition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prohibition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for prohibition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on prohibition

Nglish: Translation of prohibition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prohibition for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about prohibition


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