Definition of prohibition in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌprəʊhɪˈbɪʃ(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /prəʊɪˈbɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action of forbidding something, especially by law: they argue that prohibition of drugs will always fail
More example sentences
  • Turvey has long argued against drug prohibition, yet he increasingly applauds and encourages enforcement measures.
  • I'd like to promote elimination of drug prohibition.
  • The one on drug prohibition was also very important to me.
banning, forbidding, prohibiting, barring, debarment, vetoing, proscription, disallowing, disallowance, interdiction, outlawing, making illegal
ban, bar, interdict, veto, embargo, injunction, proscription, boycott, moratorium
1.1 [count noun] A law or regulation forbidding something: prohibitions on insider dealing
More example sentences
  • The prohibition on retroactive penal legislation is linked to the right to a fair trial, as it is irrevocably an example of an unfair trial.
  • The prohibition on ‘common law’ crimes is a good thing even though injustice can result.
  • Similarly, many prohibitions of the criminal law are morally neutral.
1.2 [count noun] English Law A writ from a superior court forbidding an inferior court from proceeding in a suit deemed to be beyond its cognizance.
Example sentences
  • The Court may direct the issue of such process as may be necessary for doing complete justice in any matter including writs of prohibition, certiorari and mandamus.
  • The new proceeding seeks a writ of prohibition and of certiorari.
  • We seem to be left with an application for - well, it is described as an application for writs of prohibition, mandamus and a declaration.
2 (Prohibition) The prevention by law of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, especially in the US between 1920 and 1933.
Example sentences
  • Later, the islands were used as a smuggling stopover for arms in the civil war and for bootleg alcohol during Prohibition.
  • The cases date back to the 1920s, when Prohibition created an illicit trade in alcohol.
  • Made up largely of family-owned vineyards at the onset of Prohibition, the industry got clobbered by the new legislation.



Example sentences
  • As the moral panic unfolds, more and more cultural forms transgress or come up against the symbolic boundary that such prohibitionary legislation seeks to impose.
  • Throughout the province there was a real threat that the federal government would pass a prohibitionary law.


Pronunciation: /prəʊhɪˈbɪʃ(ə)nɪst/
Example sentences
  • ‘Mother’ was an unyielding moralist, a militant Prohibitionist, a staunch defender of the Sunday blue laws, and a devoted churchgoer opposed to the theory of evolution, to Italian opera, and to nude statues.
  • Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists.
  • These laws were justified by an unholy alliance of liquor wholesalers, bricks-and-mortar retailers, and Prohibitionists as being necessary to keep booze out of the hands of minors.


Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin prohibitio(n-), from prohibere 'keep in check' (see prohibit).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro|hib|ition

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