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n. & v. Chiefly British
Variant of license.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈlaɪsəns) or


1. (Law) a certificate, tag, document, etc, giving official permission to do something
2. formal permission or exemption
3. liberty of action or thought; freedom
4. intentional disregard of or deviation from conventional rules to achieve a certain effect: poetic licence.
5. excessive freedom
6. licentiousness
[C14: via Old French and Medieval Latin licentia permission, from Latin: freedom, from licet it is allowed]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈlaɪ səns)

n., v. -censed, -cens•ing. n.
1. formal permission from a governmental or other constituted authority to do something, as to carry on some business or profession.
2. a certificate, tag, plate, etc., giving proof of such permission; official permit: a driver's license.
3. permission to do or not to do something.
4. intentional deviation from rule, convention, or fact, as for the sake of literary or artistic effect: poetic license.
5. exceptional freedom allowed in a special situation.
6. excessive or undue freedom or liberty.
7. licentiousness.
8. the legal right to use a patent owned by another.
9. to issue or grant a license to.
10. to give permission to; authorize.
[1325–75; Middle English licence < Middle French < Medieval Latin licentia authorization, Latin: freedom =licent-, s. of licēns, present participle of licēre to be allowed + -ia -ia]
li′cens•a•ble, adj.
li′cens•er; esp. Law, li•cen•sor (ˈlaɪ sən sər, ˌlaɪ sənˈsɔr) n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'licence'

In British English, a licence is an official document which gives you permission to do, use, or own something.

I haven't got a television licence.
Keep your driving licence on you.
2. 'license' used as a noun

In American English, this word is spelled license.

A photo identification, such as a driver's license, is required.
3. 'license' used as a verb

In both British and American English, if you are licensed to do something, you have official permission to do it.

These men are licensed to carry firearms.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.licence - excessive freedomlicence - excessive freedom; lack of due restraint; "when liberty becomes license dictatorship is near"- Will Durant; "the intolerable license with which the newspapers break...the rules of decorum"- Edmund Burke
liberty - freedom of choice; "liberty of opinion"; "liberty of worship"; "liberty--perfect liberty--to think or feel or do just as one pleases"; "at liberty to choose whatever occupation one wishes"
2.licence - freedom to deviate deliberately from normally applicable rules or practices (especially in behavior or speech)
liberty - freedom of choice; "liberty of opinion"; "liberty of worship"; "liberty--perfect liberty--to think or feel or do just as one pleases"; "at liberty to choose whatever occupation one wishes"
poetic license - license used by a writer or artist to heighten the effect of their work
3.licence - a legal document giving official permission to do somethinglicence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
legal document, legal instrument, official document, instrument - (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
building permit - a document authorizing the holder to construct a building of a particular kind on a particular lot
driver's licence, driver's license, driving licence, driving license - a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
fishing licence, fishing license, fishing permit - a license authorizing the bearer to fish during a specified period of time
game license, hunting licence, hunting license, hunting permit - a license authorizing the bearer to kill a certain type of animal during a specified period of time
learner's permit - a document authorizing the bearer to learn to drive an automobile
letter of mark and reprisal, letter of marque, letters of marque - a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
liquor licence, liquor license - a license authorizing the holder to sell alcoholic beverages
marriage licence, marriage license, wedding licence, wedding license - a license authorizing two people to marry
occupation licence, occupation license - a license to pursue a particular occupation
liberty chit, pass - a permit to enter or leave a military installation; "he had to show his pass in order to get out"
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
Verb1.licence - authorize officially; "I am licensed to practice law in this state"
authorize, authorise, clear, pass - grant authorization or clearance for; "Clear the manuscript for publication"; "The rock star never authorized this slanderous biography"
franchise - grant a franchise to
charter - grant a charter to
accredit, recognise, recognize - grant credentials to; "The Regents officially recognized the new educational institution"; "recognize an academic degree"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. certificate, document, permit, charter, warrant The painting was returned on a temporary import licence.
2. permission, the right, authority, leave, sanction, liberty, privilege, immunity, entitlement, exemption, prerogative, authorization, dispensation, a free hand, carte blanche, blank cheque The curfew gave the police licence to hunt people as if they were animals.
permission restriction, denial, prohibition
3. freedom, creativity, latitude, independence, liberty, deviation, leeway, free rein, looseness All that stuff about catching a giant fish was just a bit of poetic licence.
freedom restraint, constraint
4. laxity, abandon, disorder, excess, indulgence, anarchy, lawlessness, impropriety, irresponsibility, profligacy, licentiousness, unruliness, immoderation a world of licence and corruption
laxity moderation, strictness
under licence with permission, under a charter, under warrant, under a permit, with authorization, under a patent They made the Mig-21 jet fighter under licence from Russia.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
leyfi; skírteini
duoti licencijąlicencijalicencijos turėtojasturintis teisę pardavinėti alkoholį
giấy phép


license1 (US) [ˈlaɪsəns]
A. N
1. (= permit) → permiso m, licencia f (Aut) → permiso m de conducir, carnet m (de conducir)
dog licencelicencia f para tener licencia
export licencepermiso m or licencia f de exportación
fishing licencepermiso m or licencia f de pesca
full licence (Aut) → carnet m or permiso m de conducir (definitivo)
import licencelicencia f or permiso m de importación
he lost his licence (Aut) → le retiraron el carnet or permiso
provisional licence (Aut) permiso o licencia de conducir que se obtiene antes de sacarse el carnet definitivo
they were married by special licencese casaron con una licencia especial
to manufacture sth under licencefabricar algo bajo licencia
see also driving C
see also television B
2. (= freedom)
2.1. (pej) such a policy would give people a licence to break the lawuna política semejante serviría de excusa para que la gente violase la ley
to give sb a licence to killdarle a algn licencia para matar
it's a licence to print moneyes una mina de oro
2.2. (Art, Literat) → licencia f
artistic/poetic licencelicencia artística/poética
you can allow some licence in translationse pueden aceptar algunas libertades al traducir
3. (= immorality) → libertinaje m
B. CPD licence fee N (Brit) (TV) cuota que debe pagarse para el uso de un televisor
licence holder N (Aut) → titular mf del carnet or permiso de conducir
licence number, licence plate N (Aut) → matrícula f, placa f, patente f (S. Cone)
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈlaɪsəns] (British) license (US) n
(= permit) (for driving a vehicle, owning a firearm, fishing)permis m; (for trading)licence f; (for TV)redevance f
import licence → licence f d'importation
export licence → licence f d'exportation
produced under licence → fabriqué(e) sous licence
(= excessive freedom) → licence f
to give sb licence to do sth → donner à qn la licence de faire qchlicence fee n (British) (for TV)redevance flicence number (British) license number (US) n
[driving licence] → numéro m de permis de conduire
(US) [car] → numéro m d'immatriculationlicence plate (British) license plate (US) nplaque f d'immatriculation
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


, (US) license
(= permit)Genehmigung f, → Erlaubnis f; (by authority) → behördliche Genehmigung, Konzession f; (Comm) → Lizenz f; (= driving licence)Führerschein m; (= road licence)Kfz-Steuer f; (= gun licence)Waffenschein m; (= hunting licence)Jagdschein m; (= marriage licence)Eheerlaubnis f; (= radio/television licence)(Rundfunk-/Fernseh)genehmigung f; (= dog licence)Hundemarke f; he hasn’t paid his (dog) licenceer hat seine Hundesteuer nicht bezahlt; you have to have a (television) licenceman muss Fernsehgebühren bezahlen; a licence to practise medicine (Brit), a license to practice medicine (US) → die Approbation, die staatliche Zulassung als Arzt; the restaurant has lost its licence (to sell drinks)das Restaurant hat seine Schankerlaubnis or Konzession verloren; we’ll get a late licence for the receptionfür den Empfang bekommen wir eine Genehmigung für verlängerte Ausschankzeiten; a licence to killein Freibrief mzum Töten; it is just a licence to print money (fig)es ist ein sehr lukratives Geschäft; to manufacture something under licenceetw in Lizenz herstellen; to give somebody licence to do somethingjdm erlauben, etw zu tun
(= freedom)Freiheit f; translated with considerable licencesehr frei übersetzt
(= excessive freedom)Zügellosigkeit f; there is too much licence in sexual matters/the cinema nowadaysin sexuellen Dingen/im Kino geht es heutzutage zu freizügig zu


licence fee
n (Brit TV) → ˜ Fernsehgebühr f
licence number, (US) license number
n (Aut) → Kraftfahrzeug- or Kfz-Kennzeichen nt
licence plate, (US) license plate
n (Aut) → Nummernschild nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


(Am) license1 [ˈlaɪsns] n
a. (permit) → autorizzazione f, permesso; (for car) → bollo, tassa di circolazione (also driving licence) (Am) (also driver's licence) → patente f di guida (Comm) → licenza; (for dog) → tassa (TV, Radio) → abbonamento; (amount paid) → canone m, abbonamento
they were married by special licence → si sono sposati con dispensa
provisional driving licence → foglio rosa
pilot's licence → brevetto (di pilota)
import licence → licenza di importazione
produced under licence → prodotto/a su licenza
b. (freedom) → libertà; (excessive freedom) → licenza, eccessiva libertà
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(American) license (ˈlaisəns) noun
a (printed) form giving permission to do something (eg to keep a television set etc, drive a car, sell alcohol etc). a driving licence.
ˈlicense verb
to give a licence to or permit. He is licensed to sell alcohol.
ˈlicensed adjective
(of a shop, hotel etc) legally allowed to sell alcohol to customers. a licensed grocer.
licenˈsee noun
a person to whom a licence (especially to keep a licensed hotel or public house) has been given.

licence is a noun: a licence (not license) to sell alcohol.
license is a verb: licensed (not licenced) to drive a goods vehicle.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


رُخْصَةٌ povolení tilladelse Lizenz άδεια licencia lupa permis dozvola licenza 免許 면허 vergunning tillatelse licencja licença разрешение licens ใบอนุญาต ehliyet giấy phép 执照
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


, licence
n. licencia, permiso;
medical ______ para ejercer la medicina.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
Collins Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Goes through the archvay, thinking how he should inwest the money--up comes the touter, touches his hat--"Licence, Sir, licence?"--"What's that?" says my father.-- "Licence, Sir," says he.--"What licence?" says my father.-- "Marriage licence," says the touter.--"Dash my veskit," says my father, "I never thought o' that."--"I think you wants one, Sir," says the touter.
'Licence, dearest of angels--give notice at the church--call you mine, to-morrow'--said Mr.
1st there was still no money, and Pickles was unable to buy a dog licence.
"It is your own fault for being a terrier; I do not require a licence, and neither does Kep, the Collie dog."
I seem to have been carrying the licence about, in my pocket, many months.
Of Sophy telling us that when she saw Traddles (whom I had entrusted with the licence) asked for it, she almost fainted, having been convinced that he would contrive to lose it, or to have his pocket picked.
A licence will be quieter for us, and I have decided on a licence without consulting you.
Was it likely they would have given him a licence, he inquired desperately, if -