pro·​hib·​i·​tive | \ prō-ˈhi-bə-tiv How to pronounce prohibitive (audio) , prə-\

Definition of prohibitive

1 : tending to prohibit or restrain
2 : tending to preclude use or purchase prohibitive costs
3 : almost certain to perform as predicted a prohibitive favorite

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Other Words from prohibitive

prohibitively adverb
prohibitiveness noun

Examples of prohibitive in a Sentence

the prohibitive cost of rent

Recent Examples on the Web

The Duke of Kent sold his Buckinghamshire manor house, Coppins, in 1974, after its hefty running costs proved prohibitive, and Prince Michael followed suit in 2006, parting with his glorious Gloucestershire residence Nether Lypiatt. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "How Queen Elizabeth's Fortune Is Divided Among the Members of the Royal Family," 16 Feb. 2019 Sunscreen technology here is woefully behind other countries, and strict FDA rules and the prohibitive cost of testing new ingredients have prevented any real innovation. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The “best” lipstick probably won’t change your life — but the search for it can," 12 Dec. 2018 Now, their ongoing inspection and maintenance, along with expensive liability insurance, make their continued presence cost-prohibitive, said Biron. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Plan To Remove Jewett City Dams Meets With Misgivings," 12 June 2018 But Pendergast and other school districts say long wait times and high legal costs can make the H-1B prohibitive. New York Times, "Teacher Pay Is So Low in Some U.S. School Districts That They’re Recruiting Overseas," 2 May 2018 These price hikes, more than higher rates, make the costs prohibitive for some buyers. Washington Post, "Landing the right house in a tough market for homebuyers," 18 Apr. 2018 These price hikes, more than higher rates, make the costs prohibitive for some buyers. Sarah Skidmore Sell, USA TODAY, "Home-buying tips: How to land the right house in a tough market for buyers," 18 Apr. 2018 The Bears could try to trade Sims, but his base salary might make a deal prohibitive with other teams that could be waiting for the Bears to release him before Friday. Brad Biggs,, "Adding tight end Trey Burton leaves Bears with a big decision on Dion Sims," 14 Mar. 2018 While still the prohibitive favorite, Mrs. Pelosi will have to work to secure the speakership. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Will Democrats Fall in Line for Pelosi?," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prohibitive.' 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 prohibitive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

5 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for prohibitive

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

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More Definitions for prohibitive



English Language Learners Definition of prohibitive

: so high that people are prevented from using or buying something
US : almost certain to perform, win, etc., in the expected way
formal : stopping people from using or doing something

More from Merriam-Webster on prohibitive

Spanish Central: Translation of prohibitive

Nglish: Translation of prohibitive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on prohibitive

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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