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penalty, approval, endorsement, permission


Authority and Order, Criminal Justice and Penalties, Punishment and Enforcement



How to pronounce sanction (audio)


Dictionary definition of sanction

A penalty or punishment that is imposed on someone or something for violating a rule or law.
"The teacher had no choice but to impose a sanction on the disruptive student."

Detailed meaning of sanction

Sanctions are often used in the context of international relations, where they are employed as a means of exerting pressure on a government or regime to change its behavior or policies. In this context, sanctions can take the form of economic or trade restrictions, travel bans, or the freezing of assets. Additionally, sanctions may be used within organizations or groups to enforce compliance with established norms or standards. In all cases, sanctions are a tool used to encourage conformity or discourage noncompliance.

Example sentences containing sanction

1. The committee decided to impose a severe sanction on the company for environmental violations.
2. The government's economic sanctions devastated the nation's economy.
3. He faced a hefty sanction after being caught cheating on the exam.
4. The international community united to enforce strict sanctions against the rogue state.
5. The athlete received a two-year sanction for using performance-enhancing drugs.
6. The sanctions imposed on the corrupt politician were long overdue.

History and etymology of sanction

The noun 'sanction' has a nuanced etymological history, influenced by both Latin and Old French. It is derived from the Latin word 'sanctio,' which means 'a decree' or 'a formal decree.' This Latin term is rooted in 'sanctus,' meaning 'holy' or 'sacred,' emphasizing the solemn and authoritative nature of decrees. In medieval Latin, 'sanctio' took on the sense of a penalty or punitive decree. As it transitioned into Old French, it became 'sanction,' still carrying the connotation of an authoritative penalty or measure imposed in response to a violation. In contemporary English, 'sanction' retains this dual character, referring to both punitive measures and authoritative approval, depending on the context. Therefore, when discussing sanctions as penalties, it underscores the idea of imposing consequences for breaking rules or laws.

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Further usage examples of sanction

1. The company's unethical practices led to financial sanctions.
2. The court imposed a heavy sanction on the reckless driver who caused the accident.
3. The school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, with strict sanctions in place.
4. The United Nations debated the imposition of sanctions on the warring factions.
5. The sanctions against the cybercriminals included freezing their assets.
6. The international community imposed a sanction on the rogue nation.
7. The company faced a financial sanction for its unethical practices.
8. The school's administration had to decide whether to impose a sanction on the unruly student.
9. The government issued a trade sanction against the country.
10. The judge's sanction prevented the defendant from leaving the state.
11. A sanction was imposed on the athlete for using performance-enhancing drugs.
12. The board of directors debated whether to issue a formal sanction against the CEO.
13. The United Nations discussed the possibility of a military sanction in response to the conflict.
14. The mayor threatened to sanction the construction project due to environmental concerns.
15. The committee decided to lift the sanction on the use of certain pesticides.
16. The court issued a monetary sanction against the negligent driver.
17. The diplomatic community considered a travel sanction for the country's leaders.
18. The league commissioner handed down a suspension as a sanction for the player's behavior.
19. The city council voted to impose a parking sanction on certain downtown streets.
20. The trade union called for a labor strike as a sanction against unfair working conditions.
21. The international organization warned of a possible economic sanction if the conflict continued.
22. The environmental group sought a legal sanction to prevent deforestation.
23. The homeowner's association threatened a financial sanction for failure to maintain the property.
24. The college imposed a severe academic sanction on students caught cheating on exams.

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