noun \ˈli-mət\

: a point beyond which it is not possible to go

: a point beyond which someone is not allowed to go

: an amount or number that is the highest or lowest allowed

Full Definition of LIMIT

a :  something that bounds, restrains, or confines
b :  the utmost extent
a :  a geographic or political boundary
b plural :  the place enclosed within a boundary :  bounds
:  a determining feature or differentia in logic
:  a prescribed maximum or minimum amount, quantity, or number: as
a :  the maximum quantity of game or fish that may be taken legally in a specified period
b :  a maximum established for a gambling bet, raise, or payoff
a :  a number whose numerical difference from a mathematical function is arbitrarily small for all values of the independent variables that are sufficiently close to but not equal to given prescribed numbers or that are sufficiently large positively or negatively
b :  a number that for an infinite sequence of numbers is such that ultimately each of the remaining terms of the sequence differs from this number by less than any given positive amount
:  something that is exasperating or intolerable
lim·it·less \-ləs\ adjective
lim·it·less·ly adverb
lim·it·less·ness noun

Examples of LIMIT

  1. He has reached the limit of his endurance.
  2. In training, she pushed her body to its physical limits.
  3. He tries to be creative within the limits of conventional journalism.
  4. There are limits to what I can put up with from him!

Origin of LIMIT

Middle English, from Anglo-French limite, from Latin limit-, limes boundary
First Known Use: 14th century



: to stop or prevent an increase in (something) : to keep (something) from becoming greater

: to prevent (something) from being larger, longer, more, etc. : to place a limit on the size or extent of (something)

: to stop (someone) from having or doing more : to place a limit on (someone)

Full Definition of LIMIT

transitive verb
:  to assign certain limits to :  prescribe <reserved the right to limit use of the land>
a :  to restrict the bounds or limits of <the specialist can no longer limit himself to his specialty>
b :  to curtail or reduce in quantity or extent <we must limit the power of aggressors>
lim·it·able \-mə-tə-bəl\ adjective
lim·it·er noun

Examples of LIMIT

  1. We need to find ways to limit expenses.
  2. He tried to limit the damage to his reputation by blaming other people.
  3. A factor limiting our country's economic performance is its lack of resources.
  4. Our lack of money limits our options.
  5. Because of our lack of money, we have to limit ourselves to fewer options.

First Known Use of LIMIT

14th century

Synonym Discussion of LIMIT

limit, restrict, circumscribe, confine mean to set bounds for. limit implies setting a point or line (as in time, space, speed, or degree) beyond which something cannot or is not permitted to go <visits are limited to 30 minutes>. restrict suggests a narrowing or tightening or restraining within or as if within an encircling boundary <laws intended to restrict the freedom of the press>. circumscribe stresses a restriction on all sides and by clearly defined boundaries <the work of the investigating committee was carefully circumscribed>. confine suggests severe restraint and a resulting cramping, fettering, or hampering <our choices were confined by finances>.


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Mathematical concept based on the idea of closeness, used mainly in studying the behaviour of functions close to values at which they are undefined. For example, the function 1/x is not defined at x = 0. For positive values of x, as x is chosen closer and closer to 0, the value of 1/x begins to grow rapidly, approaching infinity as a limit. This interplay of action and reaction as the independent variable moves closer to a given value is the essence of the idea of a limit. Limits provide the means of defining the derivative and integral of a function.


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