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 Violating that prohibition is a misdemeanor crime punishable by fine, jail time and forfeiture of employment, the charter says. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Cleveland fire chief told he won’t face charges over union complaint, attorney says," 27 Nov. 2019 State lawmakers currently are barred from working as paid state lobbyists, and one GOP proposal would extend that prohibition to include lobbying cities and counties. Dan Petrella,, "Illinois House Republicans push ethics proposals in response to ongoing federal corruption probe," 7 Nov. 2019 Wyden’s bill would expand that prohibition to self-storage facilities and luxury housing, which have been popular destinations for opportunity-zone money., "Lawmakers Increase Criticism of ‘Opportunity Zone’ Tax Break - The Boston Globe," 7 Nov. 2019 That prohibition applies to other forms of internet voting too, said Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Infighting with Tony Evers aide, problems electing officers mire Wisconsin tourism council," 1 Nov. 2019 Yet the mechanism by which that prohibition was enforced remains on the books: a requirement that all would-be newlyweds identify by race. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "‘Aryan’ and ‘Octoroon’: Couples challenge racial labels to get married in Virginia," 6 Sep. 2019 That prohibition is meant to ensure that the logging industry, for example, would not be able to push to block protections on economic grounds for a forest-dwelling animal. CBS News, "Trump administration overhauls protections for endangered species," 12 Aug. 2019 Under its first democratically elected president in 2008, the Maldives removed that prohibition. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "Maldives, a Destination for the 1%, Chases the Backpacker Buck," 10 Feb. 2019 But the legislation approved in January failed to stipulate that marijuana can’t be among the crops grown in the new urban gardens, so the City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to add that prohibition. David Garrick,, "San Diego bans marijuana from new urban gardens," 19 June 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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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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prohibition.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 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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