• (British) IPA: /ˈsæŋkʃən/


  1. An approval, by an authority, generally one that makes something valid.
    The whalers had been operating in the contested waters off the island with sanction from the Japanese government.
  2. A penalty, punishment, or some coercive measure, intended to ensure compliance; especially one adopted by several nations, or by an international body.
    The United States enacted a new round of sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.
  3. A law, treaty, or contract, or a clause within a law, treaty, or contract, specifying any of the above.
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: décret
  • German: Sanktionierung
  • Portuguese: sanção
  • Russian: са́нкция

sanction (sanctions, present participle sanctioning; past and past participle sanctioned)

  1. (transitive) To ratify; to make valid.
  2. (transitive) To give official authorization or approval to; to countenance.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.21:
      Many of the most earnest Protestants were business men, to whom lending money at interest was essential. Consequently first Calvin, and then other Protestant divines, sanctioned interest.
  3. (transitive) To penalize (a State etc.) with sanctions.
Translations Translations

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