de·​lim·​it di-ˈli-mət How to pronounce delimit (audio)
delimited; delimiting; delimits

transitive verb

: to fix or define the limits of
guidelines delimiting his responsibilities
an area delimited by woods
delimitation noun

Examples of delimit in a Sentence

Strict guidelines delimit his responsibilities. the highway delimits the eastern edge of the downtown area
Recent Examples on the Web One task will be delimiting the ocean, which some researchers think could exist in multiple layers, separated by high-pressure species of ice. Bypaul Voosen,, 5 Apr. 2023 His message is clear: people in developing countries should adopt free markets, strictly delimit the role of the state, promote liberal democratic institutions , ensure the provision of basic education and healthcare and welcome open discussion of issues. Edward Webster, Quartz, 2 June 2021 Since the twenties roared, it’s become a habit to delimit history in distinctive ten-year stretches. Frank Guan, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 That gave him a way to think about the past, and also a style—history as a battle of opposites, in which the result of each skirmish shapes and delimits the possibilities for the future. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 24 Apr. 2020 Despite technological advances, biology and medicine still lack a coherent and principled understanding of what precisely defines birth and death—the two bookends that delimit life. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 11 Oct. 2019 Still, there were failures and compromises both in how authorities delimited the scope of the inquiries and in how South Africa’s post-apartheid government enacted the commission’s eventual recommendations. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, 1 July 2019 The government doesn’t have very many measures to help in a situation like that, because unemployment insurance is time-delimited. Recode Staff, Recode, 16 July 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delimit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French délimiter, from Latin delimitare, from de- + limitare to limit, from limit-, limes boundary, limit

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of delimit was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near delimit

Cite this Entry

“Delimit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​lim·​it di-ˈlim-ət How to pronounce delimit (audio)
: to fix or mark the limits of : bound
delimitation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on delimit

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