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 Angelo is the great-grandson of Frank Vitucci, who first opened the bar shortly after prohibition ended. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Vitucci's, a mainstay on North Avenue, has closed after 85 years," 20 Nov. 2019 The offenses ranged from violating prohibition laws to taking bribes to soliciting a prostitute. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "A 'tradition' of public corruption: Mayors being arrested isn't unusual for Indiana," 20 Nov. 2019 But the prohibition lasted only a few months before the burning resumed. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "To Make This Tofu, Start by Burning Toxic Plastic," 14 Nov. 2019 After a brief hearing, the Housing and Urban Affairs Committee voted Tuesday in favor of repealing the prohibition. Talia Richman,, "Baltimore’s restrictions on campaign signs are illegal. They’ve been around for decades. That may soon change.," 12 Nov. 2019 The Trump administration’s efforts to influence USAID funding sparked concern from career officials, who worried the agency risked violating constitutional prohibitions on favoring one religion over another. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups," 6 Nov. 2019 Airbnb says the Orinda house has been delisted and that the guest who rented it and held a party there despite the prohibition has been banned from the platform. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Airbnb announces “party house” crackdown after deadly shooting," 2 Nov. 2019 Adultery between consenting adults, considered a particularly egregious crime, is the third prohibition and can be punishable by up to 100 lashes and even death. Fox News, "How Iran imposes strict adherence to Islamic law with severe, inhuman punishment," 2 Nov. 2019 This past January, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge, allowing the prohibition to take effect. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "What Top Chefs Really Think of the New York City Foie Gras Ban," 1 Nov. 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

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

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Statistics for prohibition

Last Updated

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prohibition.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 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

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