According to the dictionary, licence/license refers to an official document which proves you are permitted to do something. What, then, is the word for the permission itself? I'm from Korea, and in Korean the document and the permission are two different things; that is, the formal permission by the authorities is called 면허, and the document is called 면허증.


1 Answer 1


License is not only the document, it is also the permission. From the free dictionary:

license: formal permission from a governmental or other constituted authority to do something, as to carry on some business or profession.

It is from the Latin: freedom, licent-, s. of licēns, present participle of licēre, to be allowed. About St. Francis

He was considered a madman for 3 years until the Pope gave him license to preach in 1208 A.D. From that date, he began attracting thousands of followers.

Replace license with permission or freedom and that is how the word license can be used.

  • 2
    @user1610952 You should click the check mark to choose it as the accepted answer. You (the asker) are the only person allowed to mark a response as the answer. You can do this even though you don't have enough reputation to upvote yet. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 8:11
  • Not only 'authorities' but private individuals. One could , for example formally license someone to occupy your house rent free for a month. A private company licenses the use of copyright, software and many other things. It is an English civil law term which I feel sure exists on both sides of the Atlantic.
    – WS2
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 23:31

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