- The definition of permissive is tolerant of something, often something of which others would disapprove.
An example of permissive is a parent who allows her child to have a cell phone at the age of four.
- giving permission; that permits
- allowing freedom; esp., tolerant of behavior or practices disapproved of by others; indulgent; lenient
- Archaic allowable and at one's option
Origin of permissiveMiddle English ; from Middle French permissif ; from Medieval Latin permissivus ; from past participle of Classical Latin permittere
- a. Granting or inclined to grant permission; tolerant or lenient: permissive parents.b. Characterized by freedom of personal behavior or a disregard of traditional social mores.
- Permitted or optional: permissive uses of funds.
- Biology Supporting viral replication. Used of a cell.
(comparative more permissive, superlative most permissive)