If you give someone approval to do something, you are giving them permission. Think of the permission slip your parents sign to let you go on a field trip––they are approving your going on the trip.

Permission has the same Latin root word as permit. They both come from permittere, which means to allow to go or pass through. Permission can be given in writing, it can be given orally, or it can be assumed or unspoken––by passing the box of cookies around the room you're giving everyone tacit permission to help themselves.

Definitions of permission

n approval to do something

“he asked permission to leave”
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authorisation, authority, authorization, sanction
official permission or approval
all clear
permission to proceed because obstacles have been removed
permission to do something
permission to go; the sending away of someone
green light
permission to proceed with a project or to take action
permission to do something
laissez passer, pass
a document indicating permission to do something without restrictions
pass, passport
any authorization to pass or go somewhere
boarding card, boarding pass
a pass that allows you to board a ship or plane
hall pass
written permission from a teacher for a student to be out the classroom and in the halls of the school
a permit formerly given to convicts allowing them to leave prison under specific restrictions
safe-conduct, safeguard
a document or escort providing safe passage through a region especially in time of war
informed consent
consent by a patient to undergo a medical or surgical treatment or to participate in an experiment after the patient understands the risks involved
Type of:
approval, commendation
a message expressing a favorable opinion

n the act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization

licence, license, 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
official recognition of the right of individuals to hold dissenting opinions (especially in religion)
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

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