sanction - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] [usually plural] an official order to stop communication, trade, etc with a country that has broken international law
    impose sanctions against/on (=start to use sanctions):

    The Council wanted to impose sanctions against the countries involved in the dispute.

    lift sanctions (=stop using sanctions):

    Talks continue over the conditions for lifting sanctions.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] official permission for taking action

    War was declared without the sanction of parliament.

  3. 3
    [countable] a threat to punish someone for breaking a rule

    Only the medical council can apply a sanction against a doctor.