sanc·tion (săngk’shən)
1. Authoritative permission or approval that makes a course of action valid. See Synonyms at PERMISSION(Cf. ↑permission).
2. Support or encouragement, as from public opinion or established custom.
3. A consideration, influence, or principle that dictates an ethical choice.
4. a) The penalty for noncompliance with a law or legal order. b) A penalty, specified or in the form of moral pressure, that acts to ensure compliance with a social standard or norm. c) A coercive measure adopted usually by several nations acting together against a nation violating international law.
tr.v. sanc·tioned, sanc·tion·ing, sanc·tions 1) To give official authorization or approval to: »

voting rights that are sanctioned by law.

2) To encourage or tolerate by indicating approval: »

His colleagues sanctioned his new research.

3) To penalize, as for violating a moral principle or international law: »

"Half of the public defenders of accused murderers were sanctioned by the Texas bar for legal misbehavior or incompetence"

(Garry Wills).
[Middle English, enactment of a law, from Old French, ecclesiastical decree, from Latin sānctiō, sānctiōn-, binding law, penal sanction, from sānctus, holy; see SANCTIFY(Cf. sanctify).]
sanc’tion·a·ble adj.
Word History: Occasionally, a word can have contradictory meanings. Such a case is represented by sanction, which can mean both "to allow, encourage" and "to punish so as to deter." Sanction comes from the Latin word sānctiō, meaning "a law or decree that is sacred or inviolable." This noun is related to the Latin verb sancīre, which basically meant "to render sacred or inviolable by a religious act," but was also used in such extended meanings as "to ordain," "to decree," and "to forbid under pain of punishment." Thus from the beginning, two fundamental notions of law were wrapped up in the word: law as something that permits or approves and law that forbids by punishing. In English, the word sanction is first recorded in the mid-1500s in the meaning "law, decree." Not long after, in the 1600s, it also came to be used to refer to the penalty enacted to cause one to obey a law or decree. From the noun, a verb sanction was created in the 18th century meaning "to allow by law," but it wasn't until the second half of the 1900s that it began to mean "to punish (for breaking a law)." English has a few other words that can refer to opposites, such as the verbs dust (meaning both "to remove dust from" and "to put dust on") and trim (meaning both "to cut something away" and "to add something as an ornament").

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sanctionable — sanc·tion·able / saŋk shə nə bəl/ adj: deserving or liable to be sanctioned sanctionable conduct Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. sanctionable …   Law dictionary

  • sanctionable — sanction ► NOUN 1) a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule. 2) (sanctions) measures taken by a state to coerce another to conform to an international agreement or norms of conduct. 3) official permission or approval. ► VERB 1) give… …   English terms dictionary

  • sanctionable — adjective see sanction II …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sanctionable — See sanction. * * * …   Universalium

  • sanctionable — adjective That can be sanctioned. Ant: unsanctionable …   Wiktionary

  • sanctionable — adj. approvable, endorsable; can be made valid; can be given effective or authoritative approval …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sanctionable — sancˈtionable adjective • • • Main Entry: ↑sanction …   Useful english dictionary

  • sanction — sanctionable, adj. sanctionative, adj. sanctioner, n. sanctionless, adj. /sangk sheuhn/, n. 1. authoritative permission or approval, as for an action. 2. something that serves to support an action, condition, etc. 3. something that gives binding… …   Universalium

  • Frank H. Easterbrook — Infobox Judge name = Frank Hoover Easterbrook imagesize = caption = office = Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit termstart = November 2006 termend = nominator = Ronald Reagan appointer = predecessor = Joel… …   Wikipedia

  • sanction — I. noun Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin sanction , sanctio, from sancire to make holy more at sacred Date: 15th century 1. a formal decree; especially an ecclesiastical decree 2. a. obsolete a solemn agreement ; oath …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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