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

Its bureaucrats are also keen on other barriers to trade, from obscure rules on packaging to prohibitive red-tape on the import of dairy products. The Economist, "India presents America with a choice between geopolitics and trade," 29 June 2019 But its director said Thursday that the company closed June 20 because of a rent increase of more than 100% at its Lovers Lane property that made staying there prohibitive. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "City Ballet, teacher of generations of Dallas dancers, is forced to close because of a rent increase," 27 June 2019 But Marleau’s salary cap hit of $6.25 million for the 2019-20 season made a direct trade from the Leafs to the Sharks prohibitive. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "One hurdle cleared for potential Sharks reunion with Patrick Marleau," 22 June 2019 Biden’s numbers don’t look like a prohibitive front-runner. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "Nearly Half of Democrats Back Impeachment Hearings Against Trump," 16 June 2019 Here, after the giving of the Torah at Sinai, with all of its prohibitive laws, the Jews felt that there were strings attached as they felt restricted by the commandments. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, "Limitation can be a conduit to freedom," 12 June 2019 And von Bidder acknowledged that Four Seasons price points are prohibitive for many diners: Its current listing of lunch entrées include a $36 tuna burger, the cheapest option, and a $56 poached halibut. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Four Seasons restaurant is closing. Is the power lunch dead?," 8 June 2019 World Of Trouble, the prohibitive favorite, paid $2.80, $2.60 and $2.10. John Cherwa,, "Belmont Stakes: McKinzie rallies for second in Metropolitan Mile," 8 June 2019 Because the District has no facilities for long-term imprisonment, most people with long sentences, including Flowers, serve their time out of state, which often makes visits prohibitive for their relatives. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "Locked up for years as teens, they’ve returned home to D.C. hoping to make a difference," 5 June 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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Statistics for prohibitive

Last Updated

9 Jul 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

What made you want to look up prohibitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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