Sanction – 1. Penalty for disobeying a law or rule 2. Official permission or approval for an action
To remember the definition of the word sanction, use the following mnemonic:
The ship sank in action (sanction) at sea – it was the penalty the crew paid for entering unauthorised waters without official permission.
Examples of sanction in a sentence (penalty for disobeying law or rule)
The ultimate sanction was imposed – the king was sentenced to be executed the following morning.
The department's severest sanctions are reserved for those staff members who pay no heed to the rules regarding confidentiality.
The list of sanctions includes removal of entitlement to employment.
Examples of sanction in a sentence (official permission or approval for an action)
The military commander insisted at his trial that he did not sanction the murder of enemy captives.
Because of the school's behavioural problems, the headmaster will not sanction a school dance this year.
The judge would not sanction an arrest warrant because the police had insufficient evidence against their suspect.