Word of the Day : January 23, 2017

sanction

play
verb SANK-shun

Definition

1 : to make valid or binding usually by a formal procedure (such as ratification)

2 : to give effective or authoritative approval or consent to

Examples

Because he was using equipment that was not sanctioned by league officials, Jared was disqualified from the competition.

"Villanova University this summer will host a regional conference sanctioned by the Vatican on how sports and faith can promote positive social change." — Robert Moran, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 Dec. 2016



Did You Know?

Sanction can be both a verb and a noun meaning "authoritative approval" or "a coercive measure." The noun entered English first, in the 15th century, and originally referred to a formal decree or law, especially an ecclesiastical decree. (The Latin sancire, meaning "to make holy," is an ancestor.) The noun's meaning then extended in different directions. By the end of the 17th century, it could refer to both a means of enforcing a law (a sense that in the 20th century we began using especially for economic penalties against nations violating international law) and the process of formally approving or ratifying a law. When the verb sanction appeared in the 18th century, it had to do with ratifying laws as well. Soon it had also acquired an additional, looser sense: "to approve."



Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete this verb that is a synonym of sanction: h _ m _ lo _ a _ e.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!