Definition of licence noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (especially US English license) noun
    BrE BrE//ˈlaɪsns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈlaɪsns//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [countable] an official document that shows that permission has been given to do, own or use something a driving licence James lost his licence for six months (= had his licence taken away by the police as a punishment). licence (for something) a licence for the software Is there a licence fee? licence (to do something) You need a licence to fish in this river. a licence holder (= a person who has been given a licence) Wordfinderaccelerate, brake, car, commute, driving, licence, motorist, road, road tax, traffic
  2. 2[uncountable, singular] licence (to do something) (formal) freedom to do or say whatever you want, often something bad or unacceptable Lack of punishment seems to give youngsters licence to break the law.
  3. 3[uncountable] (formal) freedom to behave in a way that is considered sexually immoral
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: via Old French from Latin licentia ‘freedom, sexually immoral behaviour’ (in medieval Latin ‘authority, permission’), from licere ‘be lawful or permitted’.Extra examples Applicants must hold a valid driving licence. He’s had his licence taken away. I got my driving licence when I was eighteen. She gained her private pilot’s licence. She lost her driving licence when she was caught drink-driving. The CD-ROM comes with a single-user licence. The bar was refused a music licence. The company has won the licence to run trains from the south coast to London. The government is currently granting no operating licences to foreign companies. The licence expires at the end of the year. The weapons were exported under a special export licence. They are Italian trains, but they will be built in Britain under licence. You can buy a TV licence at the post office. You have to have a licence to sell beer. a licence for software manufacture a licence from the Performing Rights Society Do you have a valid driving licence? He did not have a gun licence. His licence was revoked by the court. Most households in the UK are required to have a TV/​television licence. She lost her licence for six months. The beer is brewed under licence in the UK. The premises did not have an entertainment licence. Who holds the licence for these premises? Your local authority should be able to issue you with a licence. a liquor licence a marriage licence an export licenceIdioms
    artistic/poetic licence
    jump to other results
    the freedom of artists or writers to change facts in order to make a story, painting, etc. more interesting or beautiful
    a licence to print money
    jump to other results
    (disapproving) used to describe a business which makes a lot of money with little effort
    (of a product) made with the permission of a company or an organization
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: licence