Difference Wiki

Licence vs. License: Mastering the Correct Spelling

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on March 8, 2024
"Licence" is an incorrect spelling, while "license" is the correct one. License, a noun and verb, refers to the permission granted to do something.

Which is correct: Licence or License

How to spell License?

Licence is Incorrect

License is Correct


Key Differences

"C" comes before "S", so the incorrect "licence" precedes the correct "license".
Create a visual cue by highlighting the "s" in "license" in all your references.
Remember "c" in "licence" for "incorrect", and "s" in "license" signifies "standard".
Use "license" for both verb and noun forms to avoid confusion.
"License" contains "ice", which is "cool" and therefore "correct".

Correct usage of License

My fishing licence expires next month.
My fishing license expires next month.
The restaurant finally received its food licence.
The restaurant finally received its food license.
You need a licence to sell alcohol in this state.
You need a license to sell alcohol in this state.
She applied for a teaching licence after graduation.
She applied for a teaching license after graduation.
He lost his driving licence last year.
He lost his driving license last year.

License Definitions

A license is an official permission to do something, typically regulated by law.
She obtained her driver's license last week.
License can imply freedom to behave without strict restraints.
The novel takes great license with historical facts.
A license is a certification for professionals to practice their trade.
He recently acquired his medical license.
In creative contexts, a license allows use or alteration of someone's work.
The film was made under a creative commons license.
In technology, a license grants the right to use a software program.
She purchased a license for the software.
Official or legal permission to engage in a regulated activity
"He believed that the subcommittee gave him license to interrogate anyone about any possible links to communism" (Donald A. Ritchie).
A document, card, plate, or tag that is issued as proof of official or legal permission
A driver's license.
A contract allowing someone to use a proprietary product or service
Has a site license for that software.
Freedom of action or permission to act
"Doctors labeled many of the organs of the immune system 'functionless' ... giving surgeons license to remove them with abandon" (Andrew Weil).
Poetic license.
Lack of due restraint; excessive freedom
"It is important to preserve freedom only for people who are willing to practice self-denial, for otherwise freedom degenerates into license and irresponsibility" (Milton Friedman).
Heedlessness for the precepts of proper behavior, especially with regard to sex
"noir stories of the consequences of sexual license" (Foster Hirsch).
An excuse or justification to do something wrong
People who see low-fat labels as a license to eat larger amounts.
To give or yield permission to or for
"Deep down I wondered what licensed me to speak" (Jan Clausen).
To grant a license to or for; authorize.
A legal document giving official permission to do something; a permit.
The legal terms under which a person is allowed to use a product, especially software.
Freedom to deviate deliberately from normally applicable rules or practices (especially in behaviour or speech).
Excessive freedom; lack of due restraint.
To authorize officially.
I am licensed to practice law in this state.
(transitive) (applied to a piece of intellectual property)
To give formal authorization to use.
It was decided to license Wikipedia under the GFDL.
To acquire authorization to use, usually in exchange for compensation.
The filmmakers licensed several iconic 80's songs for the soundtrack.
(transitive) To give permission or freedom to; accept.
To permit (as grammatically correct).
No English adverbs have mandatory complements, and most don't even license optional ones.
Authority or liberty given to do or forbear any act; especially, a formal permission from the proper authorities to perform certain acts or to carry on a certain business, which without such permission would be illegal; a grant of permission; as, a license to preach, to practice medicine, to sell gunpowder or intoxicating liquors.
To have a license and a leave at London to dwell.
The document granting such permission.
Excess of liberty; freedom abused, or used in contempt of law or decorum; disregard of law or propriety.
License they mean when they cry liberty.
That deviation from strict fact, form, or rule, in which an artist or writer indulges, assuming that it will be permitted for the sake of the advantage or effect gained; as, poetic license; grammatical license, etc.
To permit or authorize by license; to give license to; as, to license a man to preach.
A legal document giving official permission to do something
Freedom to deviate deliberately from normally applicable rules or practices (especially in behavior or speech)
Excessive freedom; lack of due restraint;
When liberty becomes license dictatorship is near
The intolerable license with which the newspapers break...the rules of decorum
The act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization
Authorize officially;
I am licensed to practice law in this state

License Sentences

Before you can fish in the lake, you must obtain a fishing license.
A driver's license is required to operate a vehicle legally.
The license for the software allows use on up to three computers.
Businesses often need a license to operate in certain industries.
To sell products at the market, vendors need a temporary vendor's license.
The new restaurant is waiting for its liquor license approval.
Applying for a marriage license is a step in planning a wedding.
You need a license to broadcast music in a public venue.
Without a valid hunting license, hunting is illegal and punishable by law.
Many professions, such as teaching, require a state-issued license.
Students in cosmetology school work towards earning their professional license.
A real estate license is needed to sell property in most states.
Renewing your driver's license can often be done online.
The city issues a license for pets to help keep track of vaccinations.
Contractors need a construction license to build houses legally.
An export license is required for shipping certain goods overseas.
Selling homemade food often requires a food handler's license.
A pilot's license is necessary for anyone who wants to fly an airplane.

License Idioms & Phrases

License to print money

A situation or business that generates a large amount of profit with little effort.
Many believe that owning a popular coffee shop in a busy city is like having a license to print money.

Driver's license to life

The necessary skills or qualifications to navigate life's challenges successfully. (Note: This is a metaphorical use, implying that certain skills or knowledge are as essential for life as a driver's license is for driving.)
College education is often seen as a driver's license to life, equipping graduates with valuable skills.

Freelance license

The freedom to work as a freelancer, choosing projects and clients. (Note: "Freelance license" as a term does not traditionally refer to an actual license but is used here metaphorically to suggest the autonomy of freelancing.)
Working with a freelance license, she enjoys the flexibility of setting her own schedule.

Give someone license

To allow someone freedom or permission to act in a certain way.
The open-ended project gives students license to explore their own interests.

Under license

Having official permission to do something, especially to produce or use someone else's product.
The company produces action figures under license from the movie franchise.

License to operate

Official permission to run a business or perform a particular activity.
After passing the inspection, the café received its license to operate.

License to explore

The freedom or permission to investigate or try new things.
The science fair project gave him a license to explore different areas of physics.

Creative license

The freedom to deviate from the facts for the sake of art or effect.
The playwright took creative license with historical events to enhance the drama of the play.


What is the root word of license?

The root word of license is the Latin "licentia".

What is the pronunciation of license?

License is pronounced as /ˈlaɪsəns/.

What is the plural form of license?

The plural form is "licenses".

Which preposition is used with license?

Prepositions like "for" and "to" are commonly used with license.

Is license a noun or adjective?

License is primarily a noun but can also function as a verb.

Which vowel is used before license?

The vowel used before license varies but often it is "a" as in "a license".

Is license an adverb?

No, license is not an adverb.

Is license an abstract noun?

Yes, license can be considered an abstract noun.

Why is it called license?

License is called so because it derives from Latin "licentia", meaning "freedom, liberty".

What is the verb form of license?

The verb form of license is "to license".

What is the singular form of license?

The singular form is "license".

Is license a negative or positive word?

License is neutral; context determines its positive or negative connotation.

Is license a countable noun?

Yes, license is a countable noun.

Is the word license imperative?

The word license itself is not imperative; its usage can be.

What is another term for license?

Another term for license is "permit".

Is license a vowel or consonant?

License starts with the consonant 'L'.

Is the license term a metaphor?

License can be used metaphorically in certain contexts.

Which determiner is used with license?

Determiners like "the", "a", or "your" are used with license.

What is the first form of license?

The first form is "license" (as a verb).

What is the second form of license?

The second form is "licensed".

Which conjunction is used with license?

Conjunctions like "and" and "or" can be used with license.

Which article is used with license?

Both "a" and "the" are used with license.

What is a stressed syllable in license?

The first syllable 'li' is stressed in license.

What part of speech is license?

License is primarily a noun and also a verb.

What is the third form of license?

The third form is also "licensed".

How do we divide license into syllables?

License is divided as li-cense.

Is license a collective noun?

No, license is not a collective noun.

How many syllables are in license?

There are two syllables in license.

What is the opposite of license?

The opposite of license is "prohibition" or "restriction".

How is license used in a sentence?

License is used as a noun or verb, e.g., "He was licensed to practice law."
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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