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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.
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.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


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


[pərˈmɪsɪv] adjpermissif/ive
the permissive society → la société permissive
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[pəˈmɪsɪv] adj (parents, society) → permissivo/a, tollerante
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
If it be objected that this doth in a sort authorize usury, which before, was in some places but permissive; the answer is, that it is better to mitigate usury, by declaration, than to suffer it to rage, by connivance.
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.
1901), the court reasoned that, "if the use of an alleged easement is not exclusive and not inconsistent with the rights of the owner of the land to its use and enjoyment, it would be presumed that such use is permissive rather than adverse." The Downing court continued by further referencing the Jesse French Piano decision for the proposition that "one circumstance always considered is whether the use is against the interest of the party suffering it or injurious to him."
Regarding this aspect, in a future permissive regulation, we could take into consideration the Belgian provision that limits the maximal value of the requested fees.
Tierney opens his latest book with a relatively simple distinction--though one he notes has been largely lost in contemporary debates: law may be preceptive, requiring and forbidding certain acts, or it may be permissive, leaving individual persons with the choice whether to take such actions.
So the district courts have fashioned several different methods, known as the "narrow," "permissive," and "moderate" approaches, to assess whether leave is required.
Laws protecting the unborn, and therefore less permissive in regard to abortion, are controversial because they allegedly lead to hidden, illegal abortions and an increase maternal deaths.
The rules of the game go some thing like this: First, don't define progressive or if you do post a caricature with 'permissive',' a highly emotive and pejorative term in our present society.
It was hypnotized that authoritative parenting style will be negatively while authoritarian and permissive parenting styles will be positively related to oppositional behaviour (reported by mother and teacher separately) of school going boys.
THE mass media have created the permissive society by censoring everything cultural and humanitarian, Mrs Mary Whitehouse, the "clean-up-TV" campaigner, said at the University College, Cardiff, last night.