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



    BrE BrE//ˈsæŋkʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsæŋkʃn//
    Types of punishment
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  1. 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. Wordfinderboom, business, commerce, embargo, import, market, monopoly, sanction, tariff, trade 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 conduct/​handle/​talk about/​discuss foreign policy pursue an aggressive/​a hawkish foreign policy require/​use/​conduct diplomacy establish/​break off/​sever/​restore diplomatic relations 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/​be a shift in 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 launch a new round of global/​multilateral/​world trade negotiations send/​head/​lead/​meet a high-level/​an official/​a trade delegation 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 favour of/ (especially US English) be in favor of/​be against military intervention threaten/​authorize/​launch/​take/​support/​oppose unilateral/​pre-emptive 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/(British English) food parcels fund/​run a foreign/​a local/​an international NGO reduce/​eradicate child/​global/​world poverty
  2. 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. 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. See related entries: Types of punishment
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (as a noun denoting an ecclesiastical decree): from French, from Latin sanctio(n-), from sancire ‘ratify’. The verb dates from the late 18th cent.Extra examples No decision can be taken without the sanction of the committee. Several firms were under investigation for sanctions busting. Some companies have broken sanctions by supplying arms to the warring states. The UN called for sanctions against the invading country. The conference gave its official sanction to the change of policy. The movement was first given official sanction in the 1960s. The school will use all available sanctions to maintain discipline. There were strict sanctions against absenteeism. No parliamentary sanction is needed for the Treasury to borrow money. Such a step could not be taken without his sanction. The company is in breach of a sanctions order. There were calls for the imposition of sanctions.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sanction

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