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1. Authoritative permission or approval that makes a course of action valid. See Synonyms at permission.
2. Support or encouragement, as from public opinion or established custom.
3. A consideration, influence, or principle that dictates an ethical choice.
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.]

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").
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.sanctioning - implying sanction or serving to sanction; "the guardian's duties were primarily sanctionative rather than administrative"
enabling - providing legal power or sanction; "an enabling resolution"; "enabling power"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"We have also led efforts to hold Russia accountable for specific actions, including our sanctioning of Russians targeted for activities related to the North Korea program, transnational criminal organizations, our Global Magnitsky program, and the Sergei Magnitsky Act," the official added.
3.Just sanctioning leaders or the wealthy isn't much good when in monetary terms they can just pass on the costs to the less powerful in their societies or forgo visits to Paris and London.
"They are sanctioning at the drop of a hat if you're 10 minutes late for an appointment.
The rationale is that sanction effectiveness can not be solely judged by the norms and standards of sanctioning countries.
The level of sanctions imposed arguably depends on the relative influences of competing interest groups within the sanctioning country.
Sanctioning the scoundrels who kill their own people is a necessary, if not sufficient, tool for implementing the norm of the responsibility to protect civilians.
position on sanctioning Iran, the European Union, on July 27, 2010, adopted sanctions against Iran, targeting its energy and financial sector.
agencies do not systematically collect or analyze data demonstrating the overall impact and results of their sanctioning and enforcement actions.
(1) Recent experiments with simple proposer-responder games also demonstrate that responders are willing to depart from own-earnings maximization by rewarding more generous proposers or sanctioning less generous proposers as seen in Andreoni, Harbaugh, and Vesterlund (2003) and Offerman (2002).
Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, the authors performed event history analysis to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning and the patterns of benefits following a sanction.
Making clear the distinction between three stages of capital management--allocation, sanctioning and monitoring--can help.