"When I first stepped into Elaine's, in 1964, it was simply one large, permissive room," Jack Richardson says.
“It is permissive,” the former student adviser told The Daily Beast.
I always felt safe,” said one former Columbia student who dabbled in selling, calling the campus a “permissive environment.
c.1600, "allowing to pass through," from Old French permissif, from Latin permiss-, past participle stem of permittere "to let go, let pass, let loose" (see permit (v.)). In sense of "tolerant, liberal" it is first recorded 1956; by 1966 it had definite overtones of sexual freedom. Earlier it meant "permitted, allowed" (early 15c.). Related: Permissively; permissiveness.