re·​strict | \ ri-ˈstrikt How to pronounce restrict (audio) \
restricted; restricting; restricts

Definition of restrict

transitive verb

1 : to confine within bounds : restrain
2 : to place under restrictions as to use or distribution

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Synonyms & Antonyms for restrict


cap, circumscribe, confine, hold down, limit



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Choose the Right Synonym for restrict

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 restrict in a Sentence

Her eye problem restricts her reading. She was told to restrict the amount of salt she uses. The new law restricts smoking in public places. They have accused the government of trying to restrict free speech. They say the government is trying to restrict them from speaking out.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Fernandes saw another effort deflected behind by Van Dijk, while Ronaldo was restricted to a shot from outside the box that Cillessen easily gathered before the break. Kieran Canning,, "Portugal defeat Netherlands to win first Nations League," 9 June 2019 The funds are assigned to a specific need and many are restricted in their use. Annalee Monroe, azcentral, "Are Arizona public school districts hoarding hundreds of millions of dollars?," 9 June 2019 Rugani has gone on to make 87 appearances for the team, though his time on the field has been slightly restricted by a string of injuries dotted across his Allianz Stadium career., "Daniele Rugani Poised to Sign Contract Extension With Juventus," 8 June 2019 It is scheduled for reconstruction in two phases starting in the fall and is currently weight-restricted to vehicles weighing 26 tons or less. Kristi Tanner,, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION Thank heavens: They finally got their bridge fixed; many communities still suffer," 7 June 2019 At first, that seemed to be her fate in the show, too, as actress Amanda Brugel was restricted to a few short words with June (Elisabeth Moss) and some disapproving frowns. Sabrina Rojas Weiss,, "What You Need To Remember About The Marthas For Handmaid's Tale Season 3," 5 June 2019 On-street parking in the area will be restricted to vehicles with the correct residential parking permits from Noon to 9 p.m. Vehicles that do not have the appropriate permits will be towed. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Saturday’s Garth Brooks concert is going to be huge. And that means there’s nowhere to park.," 5 June 2019 While some individuals with conditions like asthma and diabetes are restricted from enlisting, many service members can and do take prescription drugs. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "President Trump Blamed the Transgender Military Ban on an Inaccurate Cost for Surgery," 5 June 2019 The sweeping measures included setting new limits on music played at bars and restaurants and restricting noisy activities to regular working hours. New York Times, "New York Is a Noisy City. One Man Got Revenge.," 4 June 2019

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

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for restrict

Latin restrictus, past participle of restringere

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Statistics for restrict

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for restrict

The first known use of restrict was in 1535

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More Definitions for restrict



English Language Learners Definition of restrict

: to limit the amount or range of (something)
: to prevent (someone) from doing something
: to allow (someone) to only have or do a particular thing


re·​strict | \ ri-ˈstrikt How to pronounce restrict (audio) \
restricted; restricting

Kids Definition of restrict

: to keep within bounds : set limits to


transitive verb

Legal Definition of restrict

1 : to subject to bounds or limits restrict the height of buildings restrict visitation rights
2 : to place under restrictions as to use or distribution restricted the land to recreational use

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More from Merriam-Webster on restrict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with restrict

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for restrict

Spanish Central: Translation of restrict

Nglish: Translation of restrict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrict for Arabic Speakers

Comments on restrict

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