License definition

līsəns
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.

noun
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A right to carry on an activity to the exclusion of all others.
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A contract allowing someone to use a proprietary product or service.

Has a site license for that software.

noun
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To give or yield permission to or for.
verb
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To grant a license to or for; authorize.
verb
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A document, printed tag, permit, etc. indicating that such permission has been granted.
noun
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To give license or a license to or for; permit formally.
verb
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Official or legal permission to engage in a regulated activity.
noun
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Freedom of action or permission to act.
noun
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Lack of due restraint; excessive freedom.
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Heedlessness for the precepts of proper behavior, especially with regard to sex.
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An excuse or justification to do something wrong.

People who see low-fat labels as a license to eat larger amounts.

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Excessive, undisciplined freedom, constituting an abuse of liberty.
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Formal permission to do something; esp., authorization by law to do some specified thing.

License to marry, practice medicine, hunt, etc.

noun
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Freedom to deviate from strict conduct, rule, or practice, generally permitted by common consent.

Poetic license.

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An instance of such deviation.
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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.
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A permission granted by government to perform an act or service regulated by law (for example, a license to fish or to practice law).
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A right to enter onto land or property and use it, without any ownership rights being conferred.
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A license under which no property is exchanged, and the licensee receives the right to not be treated as a trespasser. Same as social guest, or a hotel guest .
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A legal document giving official permission to do something; a permit.
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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.

noun
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Freedom to deviate deliberately from normally applicable rules or practices (especially in behavior or speech).
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An academic degree, the holder of which is called a licentiate, ranking slightly below doctorate, awarded by certain European and Latin-American universities.
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The act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization.

It was decided to license Wikipedia under the GFDL.

verb
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Authorize officially.

I am licensed to practice law in this state.

verb
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A document, card, plate, or tag that is issued as proof of official or legal permission.

A driver's license.

noun
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Poetic license.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
license
Plural:
licenses

Origin of license

  • Middle English licence from Old French from Medieval Latin licentia authorization from Latin freedom from licēns licent- present participle of licēre to be permitted

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French licence, from Latin licentia (“license"), from licens, present participle of licere (“to be allowed, be allowable"); compare linquere, Ancient Greek λείπω (leipō, “leave").

    From Wiktionary