Definition of permissive in English:

permissive

adjective

  • 1Allowing or characterized by great or excessive freedom of behavior.

    ‘I was not a permissive parent’
    ‘the permissive society of the 60s and 70s’
    • ‘We seem to be living in a much more permissive society than our parents and grandparents did.’
    • ‘Two men, you might argue, played a much greater part in creating the permissive, liberal society, and neither of them were baby boomers.’
    • ‘We now treat standards and law and order as a threat to our permissive society.’
    • ‘Liberal writers from the permissive society of the 1960s are quoted and their opinions are taken to have been effective.’
    • ‘Society is fairly permissive about entertainment today.’
    • ‘The 1960s, beat music and the permissive society seem centuries away.’
    • ‘The permissive society has taught people to think in terms of the immediate gratification of desires and appetites.’
    • ‘This parent is permissive and tends to be lenient.’
    • ‘For students who indicated that their parents had a permissive style, an average of 4.5 relevant items were chosen.’
    • ‘We live in a society today far more permissive than the one my parents grew up in.’
    • ‘Parents who are overly permissive, who give in to obnoxious or demanding children, are letting them know that bullying pays off.’
    • ‘Do you ever feel that society is becoming too permissive?’
    • ‘Parents with a permissive attitude show acceptance/involvement but not control/supervision.’
    • ‘You do not have to give up your authority as a parent or be permissive to parent in a more cooperative way.’
    • ‘Some critics even believed that he and his staff were actively promoting a more permissive society.’
    • ‘The parents were permissive with or neglectful of their children, and the adolescents had developed a certain degree of independence.’
    • ‘Parents can be very permissive; they probably don't want confrontation.’
    • ‘What is interesting is that you find one parent too permissive and the other too controlling.’
    • ‘Children of permissive parents tended to be relatively immature.’
    • ‘There's a difference between a tolerant society and a permissive society.’
    liberal, broad-minded, open-minded, non-restrictive, free, free and easy, easy-going, live-and-let-live, latitudinarian, laissez-faire, libertarian, unprescriptive, unrestricted, tolerant, forbearing, indulgent, lenient
    overindulgent, lax, soft
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    Allowed but not obligatory; optional.

    ‘the Hague Convention was permissive, not mandatory’
    • ‘The courts have held that, where the applicable legislation is permissive, an employer's right to take a contribution holiday will be determined by the provisions of the Plan.’
    • ‘It is true that many fundamental or Constitutional rights are, by their very nature, expressed in permissive, rather than mandatory terms.’
    • ‘The court below read down the Act as permissive because the rules are permissive.’
    • ‘It is, however, to be noted that the power under s.14 is permissive and discretionary.’
    • ‘The legislation is permissive, not mandatory.’
  • 3Biology
    Allowing a biological or biochemical process to occur.

    ‘the mutants grow well at the permissive temperature’
    • ‘Cells incubated at the permissive temperature demonstrated the typical ‘hill and valley’ appearance.’
    • ‘Incubation was at permissive temperatures for 3 days.’
    • ‘The cells released at the permissive temperature entered S phase and continued to cycle.’
    • ‘Cells were grown at a permissive temperature to midlog phase and then shifted to restrictive temperature.’
    • ‘These periods can be determined by using shift experiments, in which cultures are shifted between the permissive and restrictive temperature.’
    1. 3.1 Allowing the infection and replication of viruses.
      ‘in vivo, viral expression is restricted but in vitro, cultured cells are permissive’
      • ‘Finally, the two suppressors at codon 378 are both permissive for all bacteriophages tested at either 37° or 43°.’
      • ‘The very immune cells that are activated to destroy the virus provide a permissive environment for virus propagation and persistence.’
      • ‘Although it is a benign inhabitant of mucosal surfaces in most individuals, it is a significant cause of infection when host or environmental factors are permissive.’
      • ‘Endothelial cells are permissive to infection, but they appear to be secondary targets of the virus in infected NHP.’
      • ‘Wild populations are regularly polymorphic for its two known alleles, O permissive and P restrictive, for virus multiplication and transmission.’

Origin

Late 15th century (in the sense tolerated, allowed): from Old French, or from medieval Latin permissivus, from permiss- allowed from the verb permittere (see permit).

Pronunciation

permissive

/pərˈmisiv/