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license

[lahy-suh ns] /ˈlaɪ səns/
noun
1.
formal permission from a governmental or other constituted authority to do something, as to carry on some business or profession.
2.
a certificate, tag, plate, etc., giving proof of such permission; official permit:
a driver's license.
3.
permission to do or not to do something.
4.
intentional deviation from rule, convention, or fact, as for the sake of literary or artistic effect:
poetic license.
5.
exceptional freedom allowed in a special situation.
6.
excessive or undue freedom or liberty.
8.
the legal right to use a patent owned by another.
verb (used with object), licensed, licensing.
9.
to grant authoritative permission or license to.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English licence < Middle French < Medieval Latin licentia authorization, Latin: freedom, equivalent to licent- (stem of licēns, present participle of licēre to be allowed) + -ia -ia; see -ence
Related forms
licensable, adjective
licenseless, adjective
licenser; especially Law, licensor, noun
de-license, verb (used with object), de-licensed, de-licensing.
nonlicensable, adjective
nonlicensed, adjective
prelicense, noun, verb (used with object), prelicensed, prelicensing.
relicense, verb (used with object), relicensed, relicensing.
Can be confused
certificate, degree, diploma, license.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for license
  • Soldiers no longer careered with abandon through city streets in cars bearing the red license plates of the military command.
  • It is therefore not only a poetical license, but also philosophically correct, when beauty is named our second creator.
  • Painters and poets have equal license in regard to everything.
  • One can scarcely grasp the extent of the license practised at that time by the architects, even on the churches.
  • Few secrets can escape an investigator, who has opportunity and license to undertake such a quest, and skill to follow it up.
  • As circulation to air, so is agitation and a plentiful degree of speculative license to political and moral sanity.
  • No judge is so cruel as he who indemnifies himself for scrupulosity in cases of blood by license in affairs of smaller importance.
  • News about automobile registration and license plates.
  • Cameras snap license plates, and hefty fines are levied on those who venture into the city by motor vehicle without a permit.
  • These buy up patents and then license them or sue for infringement, rather than using the patents themselves.
British Dictionary definitions for license

licence

/ˈlaɪsəns/
noun
1.
a certificate, tag, document, etc, giving official permission to do something
2.
formal permission or exemption
3.
liberty of action or thought; freedom
4.
intentional disregard of or deviation from conventional rules to achieve a certain effect poetic licence
5.
excessive freedom
6.
licentiousness
Word Origin
C14: via Old French and Medieval Latin licentia permission, from Latin: freedom, from licet it is allowed

license

/ˈlaɪsəns/
verb (transitive)
1.
to grant or give a licence for (something, such as the sale of alcohol)
2.
to give permission to or for
Derived Forms
licensable, adjective
licenser, licensor, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for license

see licence. Related: Licensed; licensing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for license

in property law, permission to enter or use the property of another. There are three categories of license: bare licenses, contractual licenses, and licenses coupled with an interest. A bare license occurs when a person enters or uses the property of another with the express or implied permission of the owner or under circumstances that would provide a good defense against an action for trespass. For example, a person entering a gas station to ask for directions is a licensee and not a trespasser. Contractual license provides an express or implied permission to enter or use the property in exchange for some consideration. For example, the purchase of a movie ticket allows the ticket holder a license to enter the theatre at a particular time. Licenses that are acquired by contract normally include the right to use property that is protected by patent, copyright, or trademark. A license coupled with an interest arises when a person acquires the right to take possession of property located on someone else's land, as when a lender acquires the right to repossess an automobile that is located on private property after the borrower has defaulted on a loan.

Learn more about license with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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9
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