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

Other rules going into effect in less than a month include the prohibition of chumming from the beach. Richard Tribou,, "Florida man reels in 10-foot tiger shark, and followed the rules ... for now," 4 June 2019 In the Department of Health and Human Services, a prohibition on providing family planning and pregnancy prevention funds to entities that also perform abortions if there is another provider in the same county that does not perform abortions. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's crumbling roads get $300M extra in state budget," 12 June 2018 Pennsylvania has started a pilot program to ban smoking at the state’s swimming beaches, a prohibition that extends to to 39 of the state’s 54 beaches this summer. Max Cohen,, "'It's time to get smoking off the beach.' Proposed N.J. ban awaits approval from Gov. Murphy," 7 June 2018 British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a nationwide prohibition on plastic straws last month. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF to consider banning plastic straws," 15 May 2018 The United States Supreme Court agreed on Monday to allow New Jersey's bid for sports betting at its casinos and racetracks, effectively ending on a prohibition on a $100 billion industry and striking down restrictions on wagering outside of Nevada. Scooby Axson,, "U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Federal Ban on Sports Gambling," 14 May 2018 The current prohibition on voting during the weekend dates to when election departments needed time to mark paper rosters by hand to note who cast early ballots before Election Day. Rebekah L. Sanders, azcentral, "GOP House leader guts proposal for weekend voting," 23 Apr. 2018 Joseph said the feeding prohibition has community support. Erin Edgemon,, "Don't feed the geese: Helena makes it illegal to feed wildlife at city parks," 14 July 2017 That law was overturned by federal district and appeals courts, but the state tried again in 2014 with a law that stopped short of legalization but repealed the prohibition against running a sports books at tracks and casinos. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court strikes down ban on sports betting in victory for New Jersey," 14 May 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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Statistics for prohibition

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prohibition

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

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More Definitions for prohibition



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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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