pro·​hib·​it | \ prō-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce prohibit (audio) , prə- \
prohibited; prohibiting; prohibits

Definition of prohibit

transitive verb

1 : to forbid by authority : enjoin
2a : to prevent from doing something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for prohibit



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Choose the Right Synonym for prohibit

forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church inhibit implies restraints or restrictions that amount to prohibitions, not only by authority but also by the exigencies of the time or situation. conditions inhibiting the growth of free trade

Examples of prohibit in a Sentence

The rules prohibit dating a coworker. The prison's electric fence prohibits escape.
Recent Examples on the Web If not addressed, high-speed collisions caused by this pollution could mean catastrophe for satellites, and might prohibit our use of near-Earth space. Monica Racic, The New Yorker, "The Year in New Yorker Interactive Storytelling," 29 Dec. 2020 The bill heads back to the House for concurrence on amendments adopted in the Senate, such as one from Sen. Nickie Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat, that would prohibit the use of shackles on pregnant inmates. cleveland, "Ohio lawmakers pass one criminal justice measure, but a second, broader bill appears to be dead," 18 Dec. 2020 Hayes introduced a House resolution to prohibit the use of federal funds to arm teachers, which President Donald Trump suggested as a school safety measure. Stephen Singer,, "In bid for a 2nd term, Rep. Jahana Hayes leads Republican challenger David Sullivan," 4 Nov. 2020 Outdoor structures may become unsafe under those circumstances and the city may decide to prohibit their use altogether. Grace Wong,, "Confused about outdoor dining? Here’s a breakdown of the rules and safety guidelines.," 24 Oct. 2020 Henderson successfully amended the legislation to prohibit the use of transvaginal ultrasounds under the bill, a more invasive procedure than transabdominal ultrasounds. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s candidates for lieutenant governor talk about COVID-19, police reform, abortion and the gender wage gap," 2 Oct. 2020 The Virginia Senate approved wide-ranging police reform legislation Thursday that would prohibit the use of chokeholds, restrict no-knock search warrants, and expand the grounds to decertify law enforcement officials who commit misconduct. Alan Suderman, Star Tribune, "Virginia Senate approves sweeping police reform legislation," 10 Sep. 2020 Seven states have laws that limit or prohibit the use of solitary confinement in youth detention centers, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Feds ban solitary confinement for kids in prison, but state juvenile facilities still use isolation," 8 Sep. 2020 Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of electronic bow sights for hunting. Field & Stream, "A Look at the Garmin Xero A1 Auto-Ranging Bow Sight," 2 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prohibit.' 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 prohibit

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prohibit

Middle English, from Latin prohibitus, past participle of prohibēre to keep off, from pro- forward + habēre to hold — more at pro-, give

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Time Traveler for prohibit

Time Traveler

The first known use of prohibit was in the 15th century

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Statistics for prohibit

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prohibit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for prohibit


How to pronounce prohibit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prohibit

: to order (someone) not to use or do something
: to say that (something) is not allowed
: to make (something) impossible to do


pro·​hib·​it | \ prō-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce prohibit (audio) \
prohibited; prohibiting

Kids Definition of prohibit

1 : to forbid by authority Parking is prohibited.
2 : to make impossible The high walls prohibit escape.

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Comments on prohibit

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