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
  1. noun
    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
    the sending away of someone; permission to go
    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
  2. noun
    the act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization
    synonyms: 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
    (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
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