1. The act of permitting, especially in giving formal consent; authorization: Do they have permission to leave?
2. An authorization to do something, as to quote from a book under copyright.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin permissiō, permissiōn-, from permissus, past participle of permittere, to permit; see PERMIT1.]
Synonyms: permission, authorization, consent, leave2, license, sanction
These nouns denote approval for a course of action that an authority has granted: was refused permission to smoke; seeking authorization to begin construction; gave their consent to the marriage; will ask leave to respond to the speaker; was given license to depart; gave sanction to the project.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.