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 gathering limitation does not apply to indoor shopping special events, such as craft fairs. Anchorage Daily News, "Read the full text of Anchorage’s new ‘easing up’ emergency order," 29 Dec. 2020 This limitation would not apply to U.K. nationals who are residents in the E.U. or E.U. nationals resident in Britain. NBC News, "European Union throws isolated Britain a lifeline over coronavirus border closures," 22 Dec. 2020 Enacting the limitation may be the difference for some restaurants between surviving and failing, the Ohio Restaurant Association said. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "Cleveland City Council OKs limit on delivery fees third-party services can charge restaurants during coronavirus pandemic," 10 Dec. 2020 Constantin Zohner, a climate change biologist at ETH Zurich, was inspired by this finding to think about why leaves might have a seasonal limitation. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "Climate change is affecting fall foliage, but not in the way you think," 30 Nov. 2020 Echoing a limitation noted in the Cell paper, critics further emphasized that cell culture studies aren’t able to replicate the complexities of real life, so results should be interpreted with caution. Wendy Orent, Smithsonian Magazine, "Will the Coronavirus Evolve to Be Less Deadly?," 16 Nov. 2020 Moreover, the Pfizer vaccine has a notable practical limitation: It must be kept frozen at an ultralow –94F until a few days before it is used. James Paton,, "Remarkable Vaccine Results Leave a Lot of Questions Unanswered," 13 Nov. 2020 Engineering, design & general company operations absorb vast majority of my mind & are the fundamental limitation on doing more. Niluksi Koswanage,, "Musk Says It’s ‘Impossible’ to Take Tesla Private, Mulls New IPO," 25 Dec. 2020 In addition to giving the religious leaders, Rabbi Yisrael Knopfler and Father Kevin Robinson, relief from Murphy's 25% occupancy limitation, the order vacated the state's previous attempts to enforce its mask mandate. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court sides with church and synagogue questioning New Jersey mask mandate," 15 Dec. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Limitation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for limitation


How to pronounce limitation (audio)

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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