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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce permissive (audio)

Dictionary definition of permissive

Allowing or tolerating something that may not be considered acceptable or appropriate by others.
"The permissive rules of the company allowed employees to work from home."

Detailed meaning of permissive

In general, a permissive approach implies a relaxed, lenient, or indulgent attitude towards rules, standards, or authority. A permissive parent, for example, might allow their child to do whatever they want, without setting clear boundaries or enforcing rules. A permissive society might tolerate behavior that is considered taboo or controversial, such as drug use, gambling, or sexual freedom. However, a permissive approach can also be seen as positive, allowing for creativity, experimentation, and exploration, particularly in areas of personal expression, education, and self-discovery. Ultimately, whether a permissive attitude is seen as positive or negative depends on the context, the individuals involved, and the values and norms of the society in which it is occurring.

Example sentences containing permissive

1. Their permissive parenting style allows for independence.
2. The school has a permissive dress code.
3. Some consider the permissive rules at the company liberating.
4. The permissive attitude towards tardiness was problematic.
5. Their permissive stance on discipline raised eyebrows.
6. A permissive culture encourages creativity.

History and etymology of permissive

The adjective 'permissive' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'permissus,' which is the past participle of 'permittere.' In Latin, 'per-' signifies 'through' or 'thoroughly,' and 'mittere' means 'to let go' or 'to allow.' Therefore, 'permittere' originally meant to allow something to pass through or to let something happen. As the term evolved in English, 'permissive' came to describe a lenient or indulgent attitude that allows or tolerates something that may not be considered acceptable or appropriate by others. The etymology of 'permissive' underscores the notion of allowing something to occur or granting permission, even in cases where it might be viewed as unconventional or lenient by societal standards.

Quiz: Find the meaning of permissive

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Further usage examples of permissive

1. Permissive policies often foster innovation.
2. The permissive society embraced diversity.
3. Permissive guidelines made the event enjoyable.
4. A permissive approach to technology use is common.
5. She found the permissive atmosphere refreshing.
6. Permissive rules regarding pets made the building pet-friendly.
7. A permissive attitude toward experimentation can yield results.
8. The permissive attitude toward overtime can lead to burnout.
9. A permissive environment encourages exploration.
10. Some people thrive in permissive work environments.
11. The permissive approach to art allowed for creativity.
12. Permissive regulations in the industry benefit small businesses.
13. Their permissive stance on policies was criticized.
14. Permissive guidelines allowed for individual expression.
15. The permissive attitude of the teacher allowed for creative expression in the classroom.
16. Some parents take a permissive approach to discipline, letting their children make their own decisions.
17. A permissive culture may lead to increased experimentation with drugs and alcohol.
18. Permissive laws on marijuana have led to increased use in some states.
19. The permissive environment of the art studio allowed for free expression and experimentation.
20. A permissive approach to education can lead to a lack of structure and discipline.
21. Some permissive parents allow their children to stay up late and watch whatever they want on TV.
22. Permissive policies on immigration have led to increased diversity in some countries.
23. The permissive atmosphere at the party led to excessive drinking and rowdy behavior.
24. Some permissive religions allow for individual interpretation of scripture.
25. A permissive approach to dress code at work may lead to inappropriate attire in the office.



lenient, restrictive, strict, prohibitive


SAT 16 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Compliance and Regulation, Rules and Regulations

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