- The definition of a license is an official permission to do something or a document, plate or tag showing proof of permission.
- An example of a license is what drivers carry showing they are legally able to drive.
- An example of a license is the document a married couple has saying they are legally married.
- a formal permission to do something; esp. authorization by law to do some specified thing: license to marry, practice medicine, hunt, etc.
- a document, printed tag, permit, etc. indicating that such permission has been granted
- freedom to deviate from strict conduct, rule, or practice, generally permitted by common consent: poetic license
- an instance of such deviation
- excessive, undisciplined freedom, constituting an abuse of liberty
Origin of licenseOld French ; from Classical Latin licentia ; from licens, present participle of licere, to be permitted: see leisure
- a. Official or legal permission to engage in a regulated activity: “He believed that the subcommittee gave him license to interrogate anyone about any possible links to communism” (Donald A. Ritchie). See Synonyms at permission.b. A document, card, plate, or tag that is issued as proof of official or legal permission: a driver's license.c. A contract allowing someone to use a proprietary product or service: has a site license for that software.
- a. Freedom of action or permission to act: “Doctors labeled many of the organs of the immune system ‘functionless’ &ellipsis; giving surgeons license to remove them with abandon” (Andrew Weil).b. Poetic license.
- a. Lack of due restraint; excessive freedom: “It is important to preserve freedom only for people who are willing to practice self-denial, for otherwise freedom degenerates into license and irresponsibility” (Milton Friedman).b. Heedlessness for the precepts of proper behavior, especially with regard to sex: “noir stories of the consequences of sexual license” (Foster Hirsch).c. An excuse or justification to do something wrong: people who see low-fat labels as a license to eat larger amounts.
transitive verbli·censed, li·cens·ing, li·cens·es
- To give or yield permission to or for: “Deep down I wondered what licensed me to speak” (Jan Clausen).
- To grant a license to or for; authorize. See Synonyms at authorize.
Origin of licenseMiddle English licence, from Old French, from Medieval Latin licentia, authorization, from Latin, freedom, from licēns, licent-, present participle of licēre, to be permitted.
- li′cens·er, li′cen·sor′
(countable and uncountable, plural licenses)
- A legal document giving official permission to do something; a permit.
- The legal terms under which a person is allowed to use a product, especially software.
- Even if you bought this product, it does NOT belong to you. You have a license to use it under the terms of this agreement, until you breach this agreement.
- Freedom to deviate deliberately from normally applicable rules or practices (especially in behavior or speech).
- Excessive freedom; lack of due restraint.
- An academic degree, the holder of which is called a licentiate, ranking slightly below doctorate, awarded by certain European and Latin-American universities.
- In British English, the noun is spelt licence and the verb is license.
- The spelling licence is not used for either part of speech in the United States.
(third-person singular simple present licenses, present participle licensing, simple past and past participle licensed)
license - Legal Definition
- The grant by the owner of intangible or intellectual property, such as a trademark or software program, of the rights to make certain uses of the property.
- A permission granted by government to perform an act or service regulated by law (for example, a license to fish or to practice law).
- A right to enter onto land or property and use it, without any ownership rights being conferred.