Do you think that the definitions of "sanction" are contradictory?
I am referring to the use of the work “sanction” as a noun.
Sanction seems to have two conflicting meanings. One meaning of the word sanction is a penalty. Another meaning of the word sanction is an approval.
It is difficult to tell which is meaning is intended for a sentence like: “They had the judge’s sanction.,” without knowing the context. Did the judge penalize them? Or did the judge approve of something they did?
Or in the example given by the definition site, “he appealed to the bishop for his sanction,” does that mean “he” wanted the bishop to approve of his actions (Google says yes) or does that mean he perhaps got a ruling he did not like (from say, a medieval court) and is now appealing that “sanction” or penalty to the bishop?
So, do the definitions of the word “sanction” appear contradictory to you? And if they do, do people usually use “sanction” to refer to penalty or approval?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.