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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This places a time limit on consideration and quashes minority obstruction in the Senate because a simple majority vote will be held at the end of the time restriction. Daniel Wirls, The Conversation, "The Senate filibuster explained – and why it should be allowed to die," 13 Sep. 2019 There will always be limits to what one player can do in those five. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 By that point, lifting an arm made the patient feel like people do after exercising to the limit of their physical ability. oregonlive, "Exclusive: Lung doctors tell why and how Oregon vaping victim died," 11 Sep. 2019 Until 2018, there were no limits on how much could be spent from the earnings reserve. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Permanent Fund grows in first year of new system despite spending billions on state services and dividend," 8 Sep. 2019 Put another way, if there is a limit on the brain’s flexibility, this study did not find it. Tom Roseberry, Scientific American, "Studying the Superhuman," 4 Sep. 2019 Thanks to this recipe from Green and Keto, this breakfast favorite doesn’t have to be off limits. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "6 Chocolate Desserts You Won't Believe Are Keto," 29 Aug. 2019 Pressure does seem to be a key limit for some life. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "NASA eyes the ocean: How the deep sea could unlock outer space," 23 Aug. 2019 With the way the royal family currently functions, there is a limit to what Harry and Meghan can do. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Could Fly Commercial—But It Won't Stop the Backlash," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Class sizes are limited; reservations are required at (858) 829-5861 or donna.walker05@gmail.com. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Car club raises money for veterans at car show," 16 Sep. 2019 Bell did not practice Thursday, while being limited Friday and Saturday. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Cleveland Browns at New York Jets odds, picks and best bets [UPDATED]," 16 Sep. 2019 The Thunderhawks’ run stopping was efficient and didn’t allow Mason to gain a single yard by limiting the Comets to -18 rushing yards and -1 yards per carry. Alexander Harrison, Cincinnati.com, "Week 3 high school football scores from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana," 13 Sep. 2019 Running back Mark Ingram, who was limited Wednesday with a shoulder issue, was a full practice participant Thursday. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Former Desert Mountain standout Mark Andrews relishes chance to face Arizona Cardinals," 12 Sep. 2019 What’s more, Congress’s powers could and should be used to limit and even eradicate slavery when possible. Timothy Sandefur, National Review, "The Anti-Slavery Constitution," 12 Sep. 2019 Yarbrough said one of the limiting factors on attendance is the stadium’s capacity, which prevents the Missions from spiking higher totals on nights that are sellouts. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "Up to standard? Missions learn lessons from first Triple-A season," 9 Sep. 2019 Their bodies are taken advantage of by the heroines of the movie, women whose legal options for real economic advancement are limited. Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hustlers': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 The scale of her business, and her insistence on its independence, limited her profits, and Toledo never bought the ads that media outlets reward with editorial exposure. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, "Remembering Isabel Toledo, a Designer with Few Peers," 4 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Learn More about limit

Dictionary Entries near limit

liminal

liminary

liminess

limit

limitarian

limitary

limitation

Statistics for limit

Last Updated

20 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for limit

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

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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.

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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

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