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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from limit

Noun

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

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for limit

Synonyms: Noun

bound, boundary, cap, ceiling, confines, end, extent, limitation, line, termination

Synonyms: Verb

cap, circumscribe, confine, hold down, restrict

Antonyms: Verb

exceed

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Why are women not warned about the morning-after pill weight limit? Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "What Shrill Gets Right—and Wrong—About the Morning-After Pill Weight Limit," 15 Mar. 2019 Ultimately, such issues put a soft upper limit on how big wind turbine blades can get, which in turn limits how much electricity governments and utilities can produce with wind power. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "GE Just Switched On Cypress, Its Experimental Next-Gen Wind Turbine," 14 Mar. 2019 That said, face oils aren’t totally off limits to people with oily or acne-prone skin, Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, tells SELF. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "What You Should Know Before Using a Trendy New Face Oil," 13 Mar. 2019 Of course, there are limits to the information in the CDC's model. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "The U.S. Divorce Rate Is Going Down, and We Have Millennials to Thank," 27 Feb. 2019 Caveats and limitations Further Reading Hackers return some online gameplay to Wii, DS following Nintendo shutdown There are some important limits to this newly offered right, though. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Researchers can now legally restore “abandoned” online game servers," 29 Oct. 2018 For any loan of $2,500 or more, there’s no limit to what lenders can charge. James Rufus Koren, latimes.com, "Latest battle over California lending market: Should grocery stores offer large loans?," 12 July 2018 There’s a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison, Dozier said in court hearings and letters to Clark County District Judge Jennifer Togliatti, who postponed his execution last year. Ken Ritter, USA TODAY, "Nevada execution in doubt after pharmaceutical company lawsuit," 11 July 2018 There's a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison, Dozier said in court hearings and letters to Clark County District Judge Jennifer Togliatti, who postponed his execution last year. NBC News, "Nevada execution in doubt after drug company sues to stop it," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Make Foreplay an All-Day Event Foreplay doesn't need to be limited to the bedroom. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "17 Foreplay Tips & Ideas You'll Be Dying to Try," 18 Jan. 2019 This seems like a way to limit reading and knowledge, without any explanation of how the particular book might be harmful. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "How the State, Prisons, and Guards Keep Books from Incarcerated People," 12 Dec. 2018 The emails, which mostly date from 2012 to 2015, include conversations from Facebook’s top executives about the company’s developer tools and data-sharing practices before widespread changes were made to limit access to some user data in early 2015. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "A new trove of internal Facebook emails is a stark reminder: You are Facebook’s product," 5 Dec. 2018 Who gets invited with a +1? Couples who need to limit their guest list should create general guidelines as to which of their single (or attached but unmarried) friends, can bring a date to the wedding. Myka Meier, Harper's BAZAAR, "All Your Wedding Etiquette Questions Asked & Answered," 31 Oct. 2018 In the 1970s and ’80s, budgetary restrictions and student schedules prompted the school to limit the building project to New Haven, and students have been building in the city since. Tanay Warerkar, Curbed, "Yale architecture students built this innovative timber home for the formerly homeless," 17 Oct. 2018 By rule, efforts to limit debate and overcome a filibuster in the Senate must lay over for one day before the procedural vote. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Supreme Court set to begin new term with empty seat amid Kavanaugh uncertainty," 24 Sep. 2018 This post originally appeared on June 8, 2018: Compared to categories like eye shadows and lip colors, Huda Beauty's complexion makeup offerings have been limited so far. Marci Robin, Allure, "Did Huda Kattan Hint at a Huda Beauty Concealer Launch on Her Facebook?," 27 Aug. 2018 And the laws of quantum mechanics limit them to specific energy levels around atoms and molecules. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about limit

Dictionary Entries near limit

liminal

liminary

liminess

limit

limitarian

limitary

limitation

Statistics for limit

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for limit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for limit

limit

noun

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on limit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for limit

Spanish Central: Translation of limit

Nglish: Translation of limit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of limit for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about limit

Comments on limit

What made you want to look up limit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!