Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Roman Catholic Church An attestation by a church censor that a book contains nothing damaging to faith or morals.
  • n. Official approval, especially of an artistic work.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. authoritative approval
  • n. the phrase used by the official censor of the Roman Catholic Church to say that a publication has been examined and contains nothing offensive to the church

Etymologies

Latin, nothing hinders : nihil, nothing + obstat, third person sing. present tense of obstāre, to hinder.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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