pro·​hib·​i·​tive prō-ˈhi-bə-tiv How to pronounce prohibitive (audio)
: tending to prohibit or restrain
: tending to preclude use or purchase
prohibitive costs
: almost certain to perform as predicted
a prohibitive favorite
prohibitively adverb
prohibitiveness noun

Examples of prohibitive in a Sentence

the prohibitive cost of rent
Recent Examples on the Web But for most of the 64 women recorded in the camp's birth register this year, these costs are prohibitive. Adie Vanessa Offiong, CNN, 29 Nov. 2023 But for ordinary folks like me and you, the costs of paying for an attorney to litigate a case involving a complex instance of identity theft are often prohibitive—especially considering that the theft itself can leave victims without savings or access to credit. Adam Singer, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 The problem is that past a certain size (roughly 8 meters wide) a monolithic, single-piece telescope mirror is extremely difficult to cast, polish, and use—building a structure just to support such an immense weight is prohibitive. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2023 Plus, the limited market for the specialized sensors makes prices prohibitive. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Sep. 2023 That’s despite the state having some of the most prohibitive gun laws in the country, so restrictive that some have been struck down by the federal courts. Hannah Wiley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Sep. 2023 Despite the blatant lack of size diversity and prohibitive price points, the fashion industry deemed the first release successful. Shelcy Joseph, Essence, 10 Nov. 2023 Western media has devoted prohibitive attention to the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip precipitated by the Hamas regime’s support for a complex military-style operation explicitly designed to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible. Noah Rothman, National Review, 26 Oct. 2023 But in a scathing YouTube video posted Tuesday, Green argued the price is prohibitive for patients in lower-income countries. Lizzy Lawrence and Ed Silverman, STAT, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prohibitive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prohibitive was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near prohibitive

Cite this Entry

“Prohibitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pro·​hib·​i·​tive prō-ˈhib-ət-iv How to pronounce prohibitive (audio)
: likely to discourage use or purchase
prohibitive prices
prohibitively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prohibitive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!