- 1[countable, usually plural] sanction (against somebody) an official order that limits trade, contact, etc. with a particular country, in order to make it do something, such as obeying international law Trade sanctions were imposed against any country that refused to sign the agreement. The economic sanctions have been lifted. Topic CollocationsInternational Relationstrade facilitate/regulate trade (with other countries) form/join a trading bloc live in/compete in a global/the world economy support/promote free trade adopt/call for/oppose protectionist measures erect/impose/reduce/remove trade barriers impose/lift/raise/eliminate import tariffs (on something) have/run a huge/large/growing trade surplus/deficit embrace/resist/drive globalizationpolitics and law handle/talk about/discuss foreign policy pursue an aggressive/a hawkish foreign policy require/use/conduct diplomacy establish/break off/sever/restore diplomatic relations/ties foster/promote/strengthen regional cooperation facilitate/achieve economic/political integration exercise/defend/protect/transfer/restore/regain national/state/full/limited sovereignty consolidate/extend/lose/retain your power (in the region) hold/maintain/change/alter/shift the balance of power (in the region) cause/create/open/expose/heal/repair a deep/growing/major/serious rift between X and Ymeetings and agreements have/hold/host/attend an international conference/an economic forum/a G20 summit lead/launch a new round of global/multilateral/world trade negotiations send/head/lead/meet a high-level/an official/a trade delegation facilitate/begin/start/continue/resume peace talks be committed to/be opposed to/disrupt/undermine/derail/sabotage the peace process negotiate/achieve a lasting political settlement broker/sign a peace deal/agreement/treatyconflict be/constitute/pose a threat to global security compromise/endanger/protect national security justify/be in favor of/support/be against/oppose military intervention threaten/authorize/launch/take/support/oppose unilateral/preemptive military action impose/enforce/lift/end economic sanctions/an arms embargo/a naval blockade close/protect/secure/patrol the border lead/be involved in a peacekeeping operationaid negotiate/announce a $15 billion aid package/an economic stimulus package send/provide/request/cut off military aid bring/provide emergency/humanitarian relief deliver/distribute medical supplies/food supplies fund/run a foreign/a local/an international NGO reduce/eradicate/combat/fight child/global/world poverty
- 2[uncountable] (formal) official permission or approval for an action or a change synonym authorization These changes will require the sanction of the court. Their ideas received official sanction at the meeting.
- 3[countable] sanction (against something) a course of action that can be used, if necessary, to make people obey a law or behave in a particular way synonym penalty The ultimate sanction will be the closure of the restaurant. We now have an effective sanction against the killing of whales.