Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin sanctio, from sancire; SAINT


1 noun


[plural]PPP official orders or laws stopping trade, communication etc with another country, as a way of forcing its leaders to make political changes
sanctions against
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

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