licensed; licenses; licensing

What does 007's license to kill have to do with that driver's license you can't wait to acquire? Both are forms of permissions conferred officially. If you’re in England, the noun ends in “c,” as in driver’s licence.

When you have a license, you have official permission to do something, like drive a car. Bars need a liquor license to serve alcohol. Doctors need a medical license to practice medicine. You can also say people have license to do something, which means they're free to do it, like if you give yourself poetic license to misspell your own name. In Britain, license is only a verb, meaning "allow," and the noun form is spelled with two cs: licence.

Definitions of license
  1. noun
    a legal document giving official permission to do something
    synonyms: licence, permit
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    building permit
    a document authorizing the holder to construct a building of a particular kind on a particular lot
    driver's licence, driver's license, driving licence, driving license
    a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
    fishing licence, fishing license, fishing permit
    a license authorizing the bearer to fish during a specified period of time
    game license, hunting licence, hunting license, hunting permit
    a license authorizing the bearer to kill a certain type of animal during a specified period of time
    learner's permit
    a document authorizing the bearer to learn to drive an automobile
    letter of mark and reprisal, letter of marque, letters of marque
    a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
    liquor licence, liquor license
    a license authorizing the holder to sell alcoholic beverages
    marriage licence, marriage license, wedding licence, wedding license
    a license authorizing two people to marry
    occupation licence, occupation license
    a license to pursue a particular occupation
    liberty chit, pass
    a permit to enter or leave a military installation
    a license to sell liquor for consumption on the premises
    type of:
    instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
    (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
  2. noun
    the act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization
    synonyms: licence, permission, permit
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    permission to proceed
    conge, congee
    formal permission to depart
    the act of allowing
    an exemption from some rule or obligation
    (religion) official recognition of the right of individuals to hold dissenting opinions
    the act of tolerating something
    an official dispensation to act contrary to a rule or regulation (typically a building regulation)
    type of:
    authorisation, authorization, empowerment
    the act of conferring legality or sanction or formal warrant
  3. noun
    freedom to deviate deliberately from normally applicable rules or practices (especially in behavior or speech)
    synonyms: licence
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    poetic license
    license used by a writer or artist to heighten the effect of their work
    type of:
    freedom of choice
  4. noun
    excessive freedom; lack of due restraint
    “"when liberty becomes license dictatorship is near"- Will Durant”
    “"the intolerable license with which the newspapers break...the rules of decorum"- Edmund Burke”
    synonyms: licence
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    type of:
    freedom of choice
  5. verb
    authorize officially
    “I am licensed to practice law in this state”
    synonyms: certify, licence
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    decertify, derecognise, derecognize
    cause to be no longer approved or accepted
    grant a franchise to
    grant a charter to
    accredit, recognise, recognize
    grant credentials to
    type of:
    authorise, authorize, clear, pass
    grant authorization or clearance for
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘license'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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