AskDefine | Define sanction

Dictionary Definition



1 formal and explicit approval; "a Democrat usually gets the union's endorsement" [syn: countenance, endorsement, indorsement, warrant, imprimatur]
2 a mechanism of social control for enforcing a society's standards
3 official permission or approval; "authority for the program was renewed several times" [syn: authority, authorization, authorisation]
4 the act of final authorization; "it had the sanction of the church"


1 give sanction to; "I approve of his educational policies" [syn: approve, O.K., okay] [ant: disapprove]
2 give authority or permission to
3 give religious sanction to, such as through on oath; "sanctify the marriage"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈsæŋkʃən/, /"s

Extensive Definition

Sanctions, plural of sanction, punishment or permission depending on context; contronym; may also refer to:
Involving countries:
  • Economic sanctions, typically a ban on trade, possibly limited to certain sectors such as armaments, or with certain exceptions (such as food and medicine)
  • International sanctions, punitive measures adopted by a country or group of countries against another nation for political reasons
  • Pragmatic sanction, historically, a sovereign's solemn decree on a matter of primary importance and has the force of fundamental law
  • Trade sanctions, economic sanctions applied for non-political reasons, typically as part of a trade dispute, or for purely economic reasons, and typically involving tariffs or similar measures, rather than bans
In other uses:
sanction in German: Sanktion
sanction in Spanish: Sanción
sanction in French: Sanction
sanction in Indonesian: Sanksi
sanction in Dutch: Sanctie
sanction in Portuguese: Sanção
sanction in Russian: Санкция
sanction in Swedish: Sanktion

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

John Hancock, OK, accede to, accept, acceptance, accord, accord to, accredit, acquiescence, adherence, admiration, admire, advocacy, advocate, affirm, affirmance, affirmation, affirmative, affirmative voice, agree to, agreement, aid, allow, allowance, amen, approbation, approval, approve, approve of, assent, authenticate, authentication, authority, authorization, authorize, autograph, aye, back, backing, ban, be willing, bless, blessing, certificate, certification, certify, charter, clearance, commission, compliance, concurrence, condescend, confirm, confirmation, connivance, connive at, consent, consent to, consent to silently, constitute, cosign, countenance, countersign, countersignature, declare lawful, decree, deign, discipline, eagerness, empower, empowerment, enable, enabling, enact, enactment, encourage, encouragement, endorse, endorsement, enfranchise, enfranchisement, entitle, entitlement, establish, esteem, favor, favorable vote, fiat, formulate, franchise, give consent, give official sanction, give permission, give power, give the go-ahead, give the imprimatur, give thumbs up, go along with, go-ahead, grant, green light, have no objection, help, hold with, imprimatur, initial, keep in countenance, leave, legalization, legalize, legislate, legislation, legitimate, legitimatization, legitimatize, legitimization, legitimize, license, make a regulation, make legal, nod, nod assent, not refuse, notarization, notarize, okay, ordain, pass, pass on, pass upon, patent, penalty, permission, permit, prescribe, privilege, promptitude, promptness, punishment, put in force, ratification, ratify, readiness, recommendation, redress, regulate, respect, retaliation, retribution, rubber stamp, say amen to, say aye, say yes, seal, seal of approval, second, sigil, sign, sign and seal, signature, signet, sponsor, sponsorship, stamp, stamp of approval, submission, subscribe to, subscription, sufferance, support, swear and affirm, swear to, take kindly to, the nod, think well of, undersign, underwrite, ungrudgingness, unloathness, unreluctance, uphold, validate, validation, view with favor, visa, vise, voice, vote, vote affirmatively, vote aye, vouchsafe, warrant, warranty, willingness, wink at, yea, yea vote, yield assent
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