lim·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌli-mə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce limitation (audio) \

Definition of limitation

1 : an act or instance of limiting
2 : the quality or state of being limited
3 : something that limits : restraint
4 : a certain period limited by statute after which actions, suits, or prosecutions cannot be brought in the courts

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Other Words from limitation

limitational \ ˌli-​mə-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce limitation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of limitation in a Sentence

a law aimed at the limitation of federal power They have placed a limitation on the amount of time we have available.
Recent Examples on the Web The management practice of measuring does in fact get results, but its limitation is to the transaction at hand, and those being managed will typically not give above-and-beyond discretionary effort. Brad Cousins, Forbes, "If You Can’t Inspire Them, Make Them Afraid? Instead, Go Beyond Leadership," 9 Mar. 2021 As if, if you were learned and black, that was your limitation. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Remembering Vernon Jordan," 3 Mar. 2021 The 720p models residing in the vast majority of laptops showed their limitation in a year’s worth of intensive videoconferencing. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Lenovo's new ThinkPads offer better screens and Ryzen 5000 CPUs," 23 Feb. 2021 The study's reliance on Bluetooth scales and weight measurements does lead to a reduction in overall sample size, which is another limitation, the study authors said. Ada Wood And Naomi Thomas, CNN, "If you've gained weight during the pandemic, you're not alone. Here's what to do about it," 24 Mar. 2021 Because blood flow signals are more sluggish than electrical ones, speed is an inherent limitation of functional ultrasound, adds neuroscientist Emilie Macé of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Ultrasound reads monkey brains, opening new way to control machines with thought," 22 Mar. 2021 The limitation of deferral under section 1031 to exchanges of real property in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act heightened the stakes for the definition of real property, prompting the new regulations. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, "There’s Lots To Like In The Like-Kind Exchange Tax Regs," 26 Feb. 2021 For all the technological advances that have been made in the consumer electronic space, batteries are still the biggest limitation. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Scientists invented a wearable that recharges in the most incredible way," 25 Feb. 2021 The deal promised economic sanctions relief in exchange for a limitation on the nation's enrichment of uranium. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Supreme leader of Iran promises revenge over killing of nuclear scientist," 28 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'limitation.' 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 limitation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Time Traveler for limitation

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The first known use of limitation was in the 15th century

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Statistics for limitation

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Limitation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for limitation



English Language Learners Definition of limitation

: the act of controlling the size or extent of something : the act of limiting something
: something that controls how much of something is possible or allowed
: something (such as a lack of ability or strength) that controls what a person is able to do


lim·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌli-mə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce limitation (audio) \

Kids Definition of limitation

1 : an act or instance of controlling the size or extent of something
2 : something that controls size or extent



Legal Definition of limitation

1a : restriction a limitation on the rights of ownership
b : a statement or stipulation in a deed or will placing limits on the disposition of an estate or interest especially in regard to duration or heirs — see also word of limitation
2 : a certain period limited by statute after which actions or prosecutions cannot be brought in the courts — see also statute of limitations

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Comments on limitation

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