I find it peculiar that the word sanction means restriction and deterrent, while also meaning assent and approval. Go figure. No wonder English is considered one of the hardest languages to learn. Do you know other words of this caliber?
1 trade sanctions penalty, punishment, deterrent; punitive action, discipline, restriction; embargo, ban, prohibition, boycott. antonym reward.
2 the scheme has the sanction of the court authorization, consent, leave, permission, authority, warrant, license, dispensation, assent, acquiescence, agreement, approval, approbation, endorsement, accreditation, ratification, validation, blessing, imprimatur; informal go-ahead, OK, green light. antonym prohibition.
From MacBook online thesaurus