|Origin:||Latin sanctio, from sancire; SAINT|
official orders or laws stopping trade, communication etc with another country, as a way of forcing its leaders to make political changes
US sanctions against Cuba
a resolution to impose sanctions (=start using sanctions) on North Korea
the threat of trade sanctions
The UN security council may impose economic sanctions.
Any talk about lifting sanctions (=ending them) is premature.
2 [uncountable] formalPG
official permission, approval, or acceptance:
Apparently, the aide had acted without White House sanction.
3 [countable] formal
a form of punishment that can be used if someone disobeys a rule or law:
the harshest possible sanction which could be imposed