limit

noun
lim·​it | \ ˈli-mət How to pronounce limit (audio) \

Definition of limit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something that bounds, restrains, or confines the age limit for junior golf
b : the utmost extent pushed her body to the limit
2a : a geographic or political boundary
b limits plural : the place enclosed within a boundary : bounds into the limits of the North they came— John Milton
3 : limitation the sadness is without limit— William Shakespeare
4 : a determining feature or differentia in logic
5 : a prescribed maximum or minimum amount, quantity, or number: such 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
6a : 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
7 : something that is exasperating or intolerable We've had bad weather, but this is the limit.

limit

verb
limited; limiting; limits

Definition of limit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to assign certain limits to : prescribe reserved the right to limit use of the land
2a : 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

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Other Words from limit

Noun

limitless \ ˈli-​mət-​ləs How to pronounce limit (audio) \ adjective
limitlessly adverb
limitlessness noun

Verb

limitable \ ˈli-​mə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce limit (audio) \ adjective
limiter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for limit

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for limit

Verb

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

Examples of limit in a Sentence

Noun He has reached the limit of his endurance. In training, she pushed her body to its physical limits. He tries to be creative within the limits of conventional journalism. There are limits to what I can put up with from him! Verb We need to find ways to limit expenses. He tried to limit the damage to his reputation by blaming other people. A factor limiting our country's economic performance is its lack of resources. Our lack of money limits our options. Because of our lack of money, we have to limit ourselves to fewer options.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Corn trading limits will expand to 40 cents on Wednesday following the limit-up close, CME Group said. Mark Weinraub, Star Tribune, "USDA cuts estimate of 2020 crop harvest, prices spike for corn and soybeans," 12 Jan. 2021 The contribution limit for 401(k)s in 2020 (and 2021) is $19,500, plus another $6,500 for those 50 and older. Dallas News, "The Motley Fool: Pfizer has lots more going for it than vaccines," 27 Dec. 2020 In every case, governors and local officials were responsible for on-the-ground choices—every business limit, school closing, shelter-in-place order and mask requirement. Scott W. Atlas, WSJ, "A Pandemic of Misinformation," 21 Dec. 2020 Speeds are higher everywhere on the track and its responses are more immediate, yet the Type R's forgiving at-the-limit behavior has been retained. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "Track Attack: 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition," 17 Dec. 2020 When police administered a breath test, the man tested at 0.16, more than twice the legal limit. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Man accused of threatening Taco Bell employees: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 12 Dec. 2020 Anglers are legally allowed to be in possession of twice the daily bag limit, which falls far short of the 350 fillets the two men were found to be in possession of. Michael Hollan, Fox News, "Texas fishermen caught with 173 crappies over limit facing charges and civil restitution," 10 Dec. 2020 The same limit held for the Week 5 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "3,000 fans allowed at Saints' game vs. Chiefs, attendance for game vs. Vikings still to be determined," 10 Dec. 2020 Some stores have already been keeping capacity below the current 50% limit — including in Santa Clara County, where health orders issued last weekend allow grocery stores to be only 25% full at a time. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "Here’s what the Bay Area and California stay-at-home orders mean for grocery shopping," 4 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In both houses, lawmakers kept one or two desks between them to limit the spread of COVID-19. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Country venue blues, ice shanty dining, turkey sightings: News from around our 50 states," 5 Jan. 2021 Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said her cabinet would meet on Monday to discuss possible further steps to limit the spread of the virus, and ordered Scotland's parliament to be recalled. NBC News, "Boris Johnson looking at tougher restrictions as U.K. cases continue to rise," 3 Jan. 2021 In Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, where official fireworks and celebrations also were canceled to limit the spread of the virus, police officers braced for what promised to be a long night. Arkansas Online, "Pandemic-struck world ushers in '21 from home," 1 Jan. 2021 In Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, where official fireworks and celebrations also were canceled to limit the rapid spread of the virus, police officers braced for what promised to be a long night. Author: Frank Jordans, Derek Gatopoulos, Anchorage Daily News, "New Year’s revelry around the world muted by pandemic as curtain draws on 2020," 1 Jan. 2021 In Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, where official fireworks and celebrations also were canceled to limit the rapid spread of the virus, police officers braced for what promised to be a long night. Time, "New Year's Revelries Are Muted by Coronavirus as the Curtain Draws on 2020," 1 Jan. 2021 In Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, where official fireworks and celebrations also were canceled to limit the rapid spread of the virus, police officers braced for what promised to be a long night. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, "Live updates: The world says goodbye to 2020, a year unlike any other," 31 Dec. 2020 Tough restrictions are also in place across Germany to limit the spread of coronavirus. Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "New Year is greeted in muted fashion as leaders warn, Covid loves a crowd," 31 Dec. 2020 Nearly everyone in Hong Kong was wearing a mask by mid-February to limit community spread of the virus. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Covid-19 Stalked Nursing Homes Around the World," 31 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'limit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of limit

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for limit

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French limite, from Latin limit-, limes boundary

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Time Traveler for limit

Time Traveler

The first known use of limit was in the 14th century

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Statistics for limit

Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Limit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/limit. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for limit

limit

noun
How to pronounce limit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of limit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

limit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of limit (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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)

limit

noun
lim·​it | \ ˈli-mət How to pronounce limit (audio) \

Kids Definition of limit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a point beyond which it is impossible to go She runs often, but she knows her limits.
2 : an amount or number that is the lowest or highest allowed After I spent my limit, I went home.
3 : a boundary line the city limits

limit

verb
limited; limiting

Kids Definition of limit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place a control on the size or extent of something I need to limit expenses.

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Comments on limit

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