Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

license - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     license pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something

    a driver’s license

    a restaurant that has no liquor license (=giving permission to sell alcohol)

    She was arrested for practicing medicine without a license.

    lose your license (=be no longer allowed to do something):

    Anyone caught driving dangerously will automatically lose their license.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] formal official permission for someone to do something
    1. a.
      [countable/uncountable] formal freedom to say or do what you want

      The designers were allowed a lot of creative license.

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play