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What is the opposite of “authorize”?

What is the antonym of “authorize”?

The antonyms of authorize are forbid, prohibit, and disapprove. These antonyms convey the opposite meaning of authorize, which means to give official permission or approval for something.

Brief Definitions of the Antonym(s)

Learn when and how to use these words with these examples!


To order someone not to do something; to prohibit.


The teacher forbids students from using their phones during class.


To officially forbid something by law, rule, or authority.


Smoking is prohibited in public places.


To have an unfavorable opinion about something; to express disapproval.


My parents disapprove of my decision to drop out of college.

How are these antonyms different from each other?

  • 1Forbid and prohibit both mean to officially disallow something, but prohibit is usually used in a legal context.
  • 2Disapprove means to have an unfavorable opinion about something, but it doesn't necessarily involve official action like forbid and prohibit.

Good things to know

  • 1Legal Documents: Use authorize and prohibit in legal documents to indicate official permission or prohibition.
  • 2Parenting: Use forbid to order children not to do something that is harmful or inappropriate.
  • 3Opinions: Use disapprove to express your negative opinion about something without necessarily taking any official action.

Remember this!

The antonyms of authorize are forbid, prohibit, and disapprove. Use forbid and prohibit to indicate official disallowance, with prohibit being more appropriate in a legal context. Use disapprove to express a negative opinion without necessarily taking any official action.

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