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.


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

Other Words from limit


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


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


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 Year to date, the sector’s biggest stock market loser is Netflix, once a growth-stock darling where the sky was seemingly the limit. Todd Spangler, Variety, 18 May 2022 There will be a limit of two tickets per household. Hartford Courant, 18 May 2022 At some point, said GBAR president Melvin Vieira, there is a limit to what people can pay, and sellers will need to adjust their expectations. Globe Staff,, 17 May 2022 In adopting this framework, there is never a limit on how employees can work together. Robert Bailkoski, Forbes, 16 May 2022 Rawlence begins in his neighboring Scotland, considered to be the limit of the Arctic treeline in Europe, although most of its trees were cut down centuries ago. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 15 May 2022 From flamboyant camp-like attire to whimsical hairstyles and artistic eye-catching makeup (including eyebrow inspiration), the sky's the limit. Daisy Maldonado, Allure, 15 May 2022 Obviously, there's a limit to that increasing infectiousness. Peter Bergen, CNN, 13 May 2022 There is a limit of how many items a customer can buy of some items. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Williams has the defensive versatility – the ability to protect the rim and defend away from the basket – to limit what Adebayo does. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 24 May 2022 Disagreements with allies risk undercutting a central element in the Biden strategy for countering China—using the U.S.’s alliances to limit Beijing’s influence on global rules and organizations. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, 24 May 2022 Her belief of being a puppet in the system had caused Sarah to limit her options. Silke Glaab, Forbes, 23 May 2022 To limit the economic stress, the IMF is calling for government officials and business leaders meeting in Davos to discuss lowering trade barriers. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 23 May 2022 The warden had to limit media visits, such was the clamor for hip-hop’s headline criminal. Sean Williams, Rolling Stone, 22 May 2022 Rutte tries to limit official business to phone calls or face-to-face meetings where no notes are taken. Arkansas Online, 21 May 2022 Members of East Cleveland City Council, specifically Juanita Gowdy and Nathaniel Martin, pushed legislation to limit pursuits. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, 21 May 2022 Hurricane planning is focused on protecting life and preserving the equipment and buildings necessary to limit training disruptions, said Col. William Truax, the depot's director of installations and logistics. Michelle Liu, ajc, 21 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of limit


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


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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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Limit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for limit


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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on limit

Nglish: Translation of limit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of limit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about limit


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