Definition of prohibit in US English:


verbprohibiting, prohibits, prohibited

[with object]
  • 1Formally forbid (something) by law, rule, or other authority.

    ‘laws prohibiting cruelty to animals’
    • ‘Gil went on to explain that climbing with ropes was prohibited in the area.’
    • ‘The first order says it seeks an injunction prohibiting certain conduct.’
    • ‘I think it is fine to prohibit smoking when there are no other options.’
    • ‘The selling and serving of alcohol will be prohibited in the areas with restricted access.’
    • ‘The legislation expressly prohibits having the devices in rooms, according to Asher.’
    • ‘No disciplinary action was taken because our rules prohibit substances, not antibodies.’
    • ‘The club wishes to remind all members that all shooting and hunting is strictly prohibited due to the present circumstances.’
    • ‘Another three of the orders prohibited imports or exports.’
    • ‘The bill also prohibits outright a number of activities that are deemed to be unacceptable in this country.’
    • ‘In certain circumstances, including this case, such broadcasts are prohibited without the consent of the ITC.’
    • ‘A few operators advocated province-wide regulations to prohibit smoking in all restaurants.’
    • ‘Only business communications are covered unless the policy specifically prohibits private use of e-mail and the internet.’
    • ‘Canadian law and its regulations do not prohibit off-label use of devices.’
    • ‘Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.’
    • ‘There, for example, the Court held that drug laws can prohibit the use of the narcotic peyote in a religious ceremony.’
    • ‘Polygynous marriages were not prohibited by colonial law.’
    • ‘All characters belong to me and any use without my permission is prohibited.’
    • ‘The Convention explicitly prohibits the use of such measures to deter asylum seekers from seeking to enter a country.’
    • ‘The U.S. prohibits fishing sharks solely for their fins, which are a delicacy in Asia.’
    • ‘What the regulations do is prohibit the importation of guns.’
    forbid, ban, bar, interdict, veto, proscribe, make illegal, place an embargo on, embargo, disallow, outlaw
    forbidden, banned, not allowed, not permitted, illegal, illicit, against the law, barred, vetoed, proscribed, embargoed, disallowed, outlawed, contraband
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1prohibit someone/something from doing something Formally forbid a person or group from doing something.
      ‘he is prohibited from being a director’
      • ‘In February this year he was sentenced to six months in jail after breaching the order by associating with someone he was prohibited from being with.’
      • ‘He is also prohibited from assaulting, threatening, intimidating anyone or causing harassment and distress.’
      • ‘In 1993, he was successful in a suit that forced the FDA to relax its rules prohibiting drug companies from promoting off-label prescribing.’
      • ‘In fact, the bill expressly prohibits the government from negotiating lower prices.’
      • ‘The injunction also prohibits picketers from blocking the scabs' entry to the plant.’
      • ‘As a public university, we are prohibited from spending state funds on partisan political activity or direct political advocacy.’
      • ‘Upon release, Nelson is prohibited from driving for three years.’
      • ‘He is prohibited from using firearms and must remain within the jurisdiction of the court during the period of his sentence.’
      • ‘Then, when I came back to Jordan, I was prohibited from working in many fields.’
      • ‘If this goes ahead the tourist industry must be prohibited from increasing the holiday prices during the official school holiday periods.’
      • ‘Without first semester paid for, I was prohibited from registering for the second.’
      • ‘People will be prohibited from purchasing kerosene from other parties.’
      • ‘Anyone judged by the electoral commission to lack ‘a good reputation’ was also prohibited from running for office.’
      • ‘He was immediately prohibited from engaging in strenuous activity.’
      • ‘For example, a person who has committed criminal damage through graffiti may be prohibited from carrying marker pens in public.’
      • ‘Why precisely am I prohibited from getting a cheaper postal rate if I write more than five words on a greeting card?’
      • ‘Our bank manager confessed to being prohibited from putting anything in writing, which is why he expects clients to speak to him directly.’
      • ‘He is prohibited from operating firearms for 10 years and must get counselling at the discretion of his probation officer.’
      • ‘Those members of the press who did attend were prohibited from asking ‘embarrassing’ questions.’
      • ‘He is also prohibited from being under the influence of alcohol or any other drug in public and must not harass, cause alarm or distress to anyone in a public place.’
    2. 1.2 (of a fact or situation) prevent (something); make impossible.
      ‘the budget agreement had prohibited any tax cuts’
      • ‘The efficiency audit said there were too many vested local interests on health boards, which prevent change and prohibit the delivery of a value-for-money service.’
      • ‘A low fluid level switch is provided to prohibit operation and prevent potential burnout if solution falls below a pre-set level.’
      • ‘Encourage your child to get involved in activities that prohibit smoking, such as sports.’
      • ‘Mutation prevention is essential to prohibit a bacterium from developing resistance to antibiotics to which it is exposed.’
      • ‘There were no periods of inclement weather that might have prohibited hunting during that time.’
      • ‘Nurses may be presented with exceptional or life-threatening situations prohibiting the use of assistive patient handling equipment.’
      • ‘What if circumstances prohibit us from pursuing anything further?’
      prevent, stop, rule out, preclude, make impossible, hinder, impede, hamper, obstruct, restrict, constrain
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin prohibit- ‘kept in check’, from the verb prohibere, from pro- ‘in front’ + habere ‘to hold’.