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 With a five-minute limit between selections and the requisite TV timeouts, that would mean a Heat selection some time after 10:30 p.m. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 21 June 2022 But, with a limit on their value to match a payment amount. Eric Solis, Forbes, 21 June 2022 With the new limit of 13 pitchers, the Red Sox called up infield prospect Jeter Downs from Triple-A Worcester and designated right-hander James Norwood for assignment. Jimmy Golen, Hartford Courant, 20 June 2022 The bouncer is made of heavy-duty PVC, with a 500-pound weight limit. Kathleen Willcox, Popular Mechanics, 8 June 2022 That prompted the approval of emergency contraception, but with an arbitrary age limit of 18. Dana Singiser, STAT, 8 June 2022 One senior administration official acknowledged that even the rockets with a 48-mile limit could be used to attack targets inside Russia if the system was brought to the Ukraine-Russia border. New York Times, 1 June 2022 Many applicants in Israel are turned down, and even those whose applications get approved are, in most cases, limited to purchasing a single handgun with a limit of fifty bullets. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 26 May 2022 The original receipt must be presented between noon and 6 p.m., with a limit of 12 tickets per receipt. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Iran and world powers agreed in 2015 to the nuclear deal, which saw Tehran drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Jon Gambrell, ajc, 29 June 2022 Community development director Catherine Czerniak said after the meeting the patio will not be covered, which would likely limit large-scale use in cold weather months. Daniel I. Dorfman, Chicago Tribune, 28 June 2022 Rather than merely upholding the state’s law, however, the court majority said states can limit or prohibit abortions at any stage of pregnancy. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 June 2022 The Biden administration also has floated income caps of $150,000 per borrower, which could limit who qualifies for student loan forgiveness. Zack Friedman, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Sunday, Germany’s economic minister said the country will limit the use of natural gas for electricity production amid concerns about possible shortages caused by a cut in supplies from Russia. Editors, USA TODAY, 20 June 2022 Studies have shown that elderly and poor patients fare worse in HMOs, and some patients complain that the rules unfairly limit their choice of doctors and their access to specialists and costlier treatments. Robert D. Mcfadden,, 20 June 2022 Studies have shown that elderly and poor patients fare worse in H.M.O.s, and some patients complain that the rules unfairly limit their choice of doctors and their access to specialists and costlier treatments. New York Times, 20 June 2022 Germany will limit the use of gas for electricity production amid concerns about possible shortages caused by a reduction in supplies from Russia, the country’s economy minister said on Sunday. John Leicester And David Keyton, Anchorage Daily News, 19 June 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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Dictionary Entries Near limit




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Statistics for limit

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Limit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 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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