Etymology
Advertisement
negative (adj.)

c. 1400, negatif, "expressing denial" (a sense now rare or obsolete), from Anglo-French negatif (early 14c.), Old French negatif (13c.) and directly from Latin negativus "that which denies," from negat-, past-participle stem of negare "deny, say no" (see deny).

The meaning "expressing negation" is from c. 1500; that of "characterized by absence of that which is affirmative or positive" is from 1560s. Algebraic sense, denoting quantities which are a subtraction from zero, is from 1670s. The electricity sense is from 1755.

Negative Capability, that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact and reason. [John Keats, letter, Dec. 21, 1817]

Related: Negatively.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
sanction (n.)

1560s, "a law or decree," from Latin sanctionem (nominative sanctio) "act of decreeing or ordaining," also "a decree, an ordinance, a law," noun of action from past-participle stem of sancire "to decree, confirm, ratify, make sacred" (see saint (n.)).

Originally especially of ecclesiastical decrees. The extended sense of "express authoritative permission" is by 1720, hence the looser sense of "the conferring of authority upon (an opinion, practice or sentiment); confirmation of support derived from public approval" (1738). Moral sanction, in Bentham's philosophy, is "the knowledge of how one's neighbors will take a given act, as a motive for doing or not doing it" [Century Dictionary].

As "a penalty enacted according to a provision in a law to enforce obedience to it" from 1630s; in later 17c. also "a provision of a law which enforces obedience through rewards or penalties." Hence the modern sense of "economic or quasi-military action by a state against another," usually to enforce terms of a law or treaty that has been violated (1919).

Related entries & more 
sanction (v.)

1778, "confirm by sanction, make valid or binding;" by 1797 as "to permit authoritatively," also in a general sense, "give countenance or support to, approve;" from sanction (n.). Seemingly contradictory meaning "impose a penalty on" is from 1956 but is rooted in an old legalistic sense of the noun. Related: Sanctioned; sanctioning.

Related entries & more 
negative (n.)

late 14c., "a prohibition" (a sense now obsolete), also "absence, nonexistence; opposite," from Old French negatif and directly from Latin negativus (see negative (adj.)).

Meaning "a negative statement" is from 1560s. Sense of "that side of a question which denies what the opposite side affirms" is from 1570s. Meaning "the right or power of refusing assent" is from 1610s. Meaning "a negative quality" is from 1640s. In mathematics, "a negative number," from 1706. Photographic sense of "image in which the lights and shades are the opposite of those in nature" is recorded by 1853. As a response, "I refuse, disagree, no," from 1945, originally in radio communication. 

Related entries & more 
negative (v.)

"reject, refuse to accept," 1706, from negative (adj.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
negativity (n.)

"the quality of being negative in any sense," 1842, from negative + -ity.

Related entries & more 
sanctions (n.)

in international diplomacy, by 1900, plural of sanction (n.) in the sense of "part or clause of a law which spells out the penalty for breaking it" (1650s).

Related entries & more 
negentropy (n.)

1950, compounded from negative entropy.

Related entries & more 
sacrosanct (adj.)

"superlatively sacred or inviolable," c. 1600, from Latin sacrosanctus "inviolable, protected by religious sanction, consecrated with religious ceremonies," from sacro, ablative of sacrum "religious sanction, religious rite" (from neuter singular of sacer "sacred") + sanctus, past participle of sancire "make sacred" (for both, see sacred). Earlier in partially Englished form sacro-seint (c. 1500).

Related entries & more 
permission (n.)

"leave, sanction; the act of allowing," early 15c., permissioun, from Old French permission and directly from Latin permissionem (nominative permissio) "a giving up, a yielding; permission," noun of action from past-participle stem of permittere (see permit (v.)).

Related entries & more