Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Authoritative permission or approval that makes a course of action valid. synonym: permission.
  • noun Support or encouragement, as from public opinion or established custom.
  • noun A consideration, influence, or principle that dictates an ethical choice.
  • noun The penalty for noncompliance with a law or legal order.
  • noun A penalty, specified or in the form of moral pressure, that acts to ensure compliance with a social standard or norm.
  • noun A coercive measure adopted usually by several nations acting together against a nation violating international law.
  • transitive verb To give official authorization or approval to.
  • transitive verb To encourage or tolerate by indicating approval.
  • transitive verb To penalize, as for violating a moral principle or international law.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To give authoritative permission or approval to: ratify; confirm; invest with validity or authority.
  • To give countenance or support to; approve.
  • Synonyms Allow, Permit, etc. See allow.
  • noun The act of making sacred; the act of rendering authoritative as law; the act of decreeing or ratifying; the act of making binding, as by an oath.
  • noun A decree; an ordinance; a law: as, the pragmatic sanction.
  • noun The conferring of authority upon an opinion, practice, or sentiment; confirmation or support derived from public approval, from exalted testimony, or from the countenance of a person or body commanding respect.
  • noun A provision of a law which enforces obedience by the enactment of rewards or penalties, called respectively remuneratory and punitive sanctions; hence, in utilitarian ethics, the knowledge of the pleasurable or painful consequences of an act, as making it moral or immoral.
  • noun Synonyms and Authorization, countenance, support, warrant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Solemn or ceremonious ratification; an official act of a superior by which he ratifies and gives validity to the act of some other person or body; establishment or furtherance of anything by giving authority to it; confirmation; approbation.
  • noun Anything done or said to enforce the will, law, or authority of another.
  • transitive verb To give sanction to; to ratify; to confirm; to approve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An approval, by an authority, generally one that makes something valid.
  • noun A penalty, or some coercive measure, intended to ensure compliance; especially one adopted by several nations, or by an international body.
  • noun A law, treaty, or contract, or a clause within a law, treaty, or contract, specifying the above.
  • verb transitive To ratify; to make valid.
  • verb transitive To give official authorization or approval to; to countenance.
  • verb transitive To penalize (a State etc.) with sanctions.

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

  • verb give religious sanction to, such as through on oath
  • noun a mechanism of social control for enforcing a society's standards
  • noun the act of final authorization
  • verb give authority or permission to
  • noun official permission or approval
  • noun formal and explicit approval
  • verb give sanction to

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, enactment of a law, from Old French, ecclesiastical decree, from Latin sānctiō, sānctiōn-, binding law, penal sanction, from sānctus, holy; see sanctify.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French sanction.

Examples

  • Whether the sanction is historically regarded as a punishment?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Why NFIB Is Challenging ObamaCare

  • Palin, unlike the author of the above article, probably knows there's more than just the one definition of the word "sanction".

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • What sanction is there to stop the chavs behaving exactly as they wish?

    How Did It Come To This? « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • "If you want to send a tanker filled with refined petrol to Iran, and you have proved that you are not carrying any other goods that we deem illegal, Europe has no problem," said a high European official who specializes in sanction policies who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

    E.U. breaks from U.S. by selling refined petroleum to Iran, despite sanctions

  • Levey and Cohen acknowledged that America's adversaries are continuing to adapt to U.S. financial measures and that the ultimate impact of long-term sanction campaigns remains unclear.

    Point Man on U.S. Sanctions to Depart

  • "If you want to send a tanker filled with refined petrol to Iran, and you have proved that you are not carrying any other goods that we deem illegal, Europe has no problem," said a high European official who specializes in sanction policies who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

    E.U. breaks from U.S. by selling refined petroleum to Iran, despite sanctions

  • "This sanction is consistent with our honor code for students and its emphasis on education, reflection and ultimately restoration to an honorable place in our community."

    Joseph Ellis

  • "If you want to send a tanker filled with refined petrol to Iran, and you have proved that you are not carrying any other goods that we deem illegal, Europe has no problem," said a high European official who specializes in sanction policies who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

    E.U. breaks from U.S. by selling refined petroleum to Iran, despite sanctions

  • Consequently bogeyman excuses are co-opted to obtain sanction for this unethical abrogation of a natural right even more fundamental than liberty.

    I, Pirate …

  • "If you want to send a tanker filled with refined petrol to Iran, and you have proved that you are not carrying any other goods that we deem illegal, Europe has no problem," said a high European official who specializes in sanction policies who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

    E.U. breaks from U.S. by selling refined petroleum to Iran, despite sanctions

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Classic contronym in the sense: allow vs. disallow.

    January 31, 2007

  • Most commentary from both sides of this conflict indicates that these sanctions were highly effective.

    September 14, 2010