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a. Granting or inclined to grant permission; tolerant or lenient: permissive parents.
b. Characterized by freedom of personal behavior or a disregard of traditional social mores.
2. Permitted or optional: permissive uses of funds.
3. Biology Supporting viral replication. Used of a cell.

per·mis′sive·ly adv.
per·mis′sive·ness n.


1. tolerant; lenient: permissive parents.
2. indulgent in matters of sex: a permissive society.
3. granting permission
4. archaic not obligatory
perˈmissively adv
perˈmissiveness n


(pərˈmɪs ɪv)

1. tolerant of something, as social behavior or linguistic usage, that others might disapprove or forbid.
2. granting or expressing permission: a permissive nod.
3. optional.
4. Genetics. (of a cell) permitting replication of a strand of DNA that could be lethal, as a viral segment or mutant gene.
per•mis′sive•ly, adv.
per•mis′sive•ness, n.


1. 'permissible'

If something is permissible, you are allowed to have it or do it, because it does not break any rules, laws, or conventions.

Towing caravans up to 2.30m wide are permissible in Norway.
I understood that it was permissible to ask a question.
2. 'permissive'

A permissive society or person tolerates things which some people disapprove of, especially freedom of sexual behaviour.

We live in a permissive age.
Baby-boomers are realising that their permissive approach didn't work.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.permissive - not preventive
preventative, preventive - tending to prevent or hinder
2.permissive - granting or inclined or able to grant permission; not strict in discipline; "direct primary legislation is largely permissive rather than prescriptive"; "permissive parents"
unpermissive - not inclined to grant permission; severe in discipline


adjective tolerant, liberal, open-minded, indulgent, easy-going, free, lax, lenient, forbearing, acquiescent, latitudinarian, easy-oasy (slang) Single parents are more likely to be permissive.
strict, forbidding, rigid, authoritarian, grudging, denying, domineering


[pəˈmɪsɪv] ADJ (= tolerant) [attitude, law] → permisivo
the permissive societyla sociedad permisiva


[pərˈmɪsɪv] adjpermissif/ive
the permissive society → la société permissive


adjnachgiebig, permissiv (geh); (= tolerant) age, attitude, law, parents, schoolfreizügig; (sexually) → freizügig; it encourages youngsters to be permissivees führt zu allzu großer Freizügigkeit unter Jugendlichen; the permissive societydie permissive Gesellschaft


[pəˈmɪsɪv] adj (parents, society) → permissivo/a, tollerante
References in classic literature ?
So spake the false dissembler unperceivd; For neither Man nor Angel can discern Hypocrisie, the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone, By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth: And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps At wisdoms Gate, and to simplicitie Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill Where no ill seems: Which now for once beguil'd URIEL, though Regent of the Sun, and held The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heav'n; Who to the fraudulent Impostor foule In his uprightness answer thus returnd.
Therefore the poet is not any permissive potentate, but is emperor in his own right.
52) The court also noted that a permissive interpretation is supported by section 9's language, recognizing that "[t]he word [m]ay in a statute .
Cardiff Central has permissive working where trains are permitted to enter and leave occupied platforms at the station.
Many of these permissive access routes link existing rights of way to provide uninterrupted access to countless kilometres of paths.
But Mrs Whitehouse failed to halt the permissive society, and her concerns seem trivial today when almost anything passes the television censors.
THE rot at the BBC started with Sir Hugh Carleton-Greene, when the corporation was allowed to become the means of bringing about the permissive society.
The DEC seems to have gone back to the drawing board for the RSP regulations in response to a welter of criticism from community organizations and advocacy organizations, which found the new voluntary program overly permissive and at odds with the legislative intent behind the BCR
Alpha Dog'' is sure to inspire much clucking about the wages of neglectful or permissive parenting, and some of that is applicable.
High warmth and high strictness define the authoritative parenting style; low warmth and high strictness, the authoritarian style; high warmth and low strictness, the permissive style; and low warmth and low strictness, the neglectful style.
And recent research suggests that the "female reproductive tract is a preferentially permissive site for Zika replication, which adds to the concern about sexual transmission.
In a recent column entitled "To the limit," I tried to make the case that the negative consequences of permissive parenting are numerous enough to warrant the attention of primary care pediatricians and family physicians.