I'm trying to find a word meaning "you can't do that" or "you're not allowed".

I thought of impossibility but I do not want it in the sense of being impossible, but in the sense of not being allowed to.


The Sneak Out automatically provides you with a guilty conscience and the impossibility of telling people who you saw.

4 Answers 4


In your case I'd go with inability.

inability (n): lack of ability; lack of power, capacity, or means: his inability to make decisions

  • I suppose I will also have to change the verb tense of "telling", i.e., inability to tell instead of inability of telling
    – djeidot
    Oct 10, 2011 at 23:23
  • you are correct. - have an upvote
    – jim
    Oct 10, 2011 at 23:25
  • No, the OP wants a word that means you're not allowed to do this, not you're unable to do it.
    – user16269
    Mar 24, 2012 at 1:22

The adjective forbidden means:

not allowed; prohibited: a forbidden food in his religion.

The noun form of this is forbiddenness. Another option (which is synonymous) is prohibition.


With some reorganization of your sentence, you can use words like faux pas, verboten, taboo, forbidden, and gauche.

For example: "... and then it would be verboten / gauche / taboo / socially forbidden / a faux pas / a gaffe to reveal who you saw."


How about "bar"

The Sneak Out automatically provides you with a guilty conscience and bars you from telling people who you saw.

  • The question asked for a noun; "bars," as you've used it, is a verb.
    – ect
    Oct 11, 2011 at 1:12
  • 1
    @ect: The example used a noun, but the OP didn't make any such restriction. Oct 11, 2011 at 11:33

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