English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What noun describes the act of forbidding something?

Just as 'permission' means allowing certain activity, is there a noun that states the opposite?

In particular, I'm looking for one that states 'disallowance' (if you allow me to make up this kind of word) a'priori, unlike 'denial', 'refusal', 'rejection', 'refusal', which all apply to a request: Imagine a grassy square where kids like to play soccer, disturbing people in nearby houses. If they ask "Can we play soccer here?" - "No, you can't" is a refusal. A sign on the grass "No playing soccer allowed" doesn't qualify as such though - it's there before intent to play even appears.

share|improve this question
I considered restriction and limitation but those would both imply that there was somewhere where you could play, just that it's not here, or else that you can play here sometimes, or that you can play some games but not football. – ClickRick Jun 21 '14 at 20:36
up vote 9 down vote accepted

The closest word that I can think of that has this meaning is prohibition:

If a law or someone in authority prohibits something, they forbid it or make it illegal.

share|improve this answer
Or in some contexts, ban (noun and verb). – FumbleFingers Jun 21 '14 at 18:33

There is also

proscription : a decree that prohibits something

from proscribe

 To prohibit; forbid.

There was virtually no moral or legal proscription against drinking until after the War of Independence. - A Renegade History of the United States

share|improve this answer

Forbiddance: the act of forbidding. MW, FD, Wiktionary, Reference.com.

share|improve this answer
Accurate, but esoteric: occurs 58 times in GLoWBE, not at all in COCA, and just 10 times in BNC. – jimsug Jun 21 '14 at 12:47

Impermissible is the closest to the word "permission" itself, though it is not a noun.

Impermissive seems like it could work but it really is the opposite of the word permissive, not permission. The words are related, but do not have the same meaning.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.