limit

noun
lim·​it | \ˈli-mət \

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 \ adjective
limitlessly adverb
limitlessness noun

Verb

limitable \ˈli-​mə-​tə-​bəl \ 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

As Campbell notes, there have been some programs capable of mastering heads-up, no-limit Texas Hold 'Em, when only two players are left in a tournament. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games," 6 Dec. 2018 Just be aware that the first couple of blocks on the route are mostly off-limits, so don't expect an up-close and personal view. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 2018 Information and Event History," 21 Nov. 2018 Nothing here is off-limits to inquisitive hands, and the two full floors of exhibits include everything from a veggie and herb garden to a rocket assembly studio. Juliet Izon, Good Housekeeping, "Why Your Kids Will Love a Trip to Philly as Much as the Magic Kingdom," 30 July 2018 Nothing was off limits, especially Ganim’s seven years in federal prison for public corruption and questions about whether Lamont laid off employees from his telecommunications company. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Rival Democrats Ned Lamont And Joe Ganim Exchange Barbs In Raucous Debate," 12 July 2018 Many lenders, not wanting to comply with interest-rate limits, only offer loans of $2,500 and up. James Rufus Koren, latimes.com, "Latest battle over California lending market: Should grocery stores offer large loans?," 12 July 2018 There are no limits or counts for AAU teams, and that allowed one of Tropiano’s players to recently pitch three innings in one game and come back the next day for three more. Sam Donnellon, Philly.com, "Elbow injuries - and surgery - affect high school pitchers more than anyone else," 9 July 2018 There are some limits, especially now that Reddit has matured. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Transformative Power of Reddit's Alien Mascot," 6 July 2018 The Fourth of July holiday kept Boise firefighters busy, but fortunately there have been no massive fires started in city limits, as of Thursday afternoon. Ruth Brown, idahostatesman, "Boise Fire responds to more fires on the Fourth of July this year than last," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Obfuscation efforts included forming front companies to operate single ships, which would limit damage if the companies were uncovered. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "Fake Signals and Illegal Flags: How North Korea Uses Clandestine Shipping to Fund Regime," 28 Nov. 2018 That said, the rising star is hardly limited to a singular aesthetic. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Meet the Thai Superstar Who Stole the Show at Valentino’s Pre-Fall Extravaganza in Tokyo," 27 Nov. 2018 Auks were limited to the North Atlantic, while penguins are Southern Hemisphere-only animals — almost. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Penguins," 6 Nov. 2018 Simply put, this is when voting locations close down entirely, limiting voter access to the process by moving polling places further from home. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Voter Suppression in the 2018 Midterms," 29 Oct. 2018 Getty Images President Donald Trump’s policies aimed at severely limiting immigration aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon. Lauren Holter, Marie Claire, "If You Care About Immigration, Here's What You Need To Know About The Midterms," 16 Oct. 2018 In 2019, Amsterdam will also begin enforcing its new Airbnb rule, which limits hosts to 30 nights of rental per year, down from the current 60. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Amsterdam Takes Aim at Tourists in Red Light District," 9 Aug. 2018 Over the last few decades, asbestos has been outlawed in more than 50 countries, which has drastically limited the number of places where it is produced. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "AIA says EPA should impose a ‘blanket ban’ on asbestos," 9 Aug. 2018 The options were limited: walk down that street and make my way home (but break the law,) or never again see my family. Christine M. Flowers, Philly.com, "As politicians duke it out, we must remember that most children just want to go home | Christine Flowers," 12 July 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

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

Verb

see limit entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about limit

Dictionary Entries near limit

liminal

liminary

liminess

limit

limitarian

limitary

limitation

Statistics for limit

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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 \

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

a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!