re·strict | \ ri-ˈstrikt \
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

Snell has also pointed out that Zane had been restricted from conducting homicide autopsies in the past. Shawn Musgrave,, "Legal battle over medical examiner’s track record," 14 July 2018 The actual summit is on the Fort Apache Reservation, where access is restricted to tribal members. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 Related Russia doesn’t extradite its citizens to face trial in the U.S., so the defendants aren’t likely to see the inside of an American courtroom, though they may be restricted in their ability to travel. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Mueller Probe Indicts 12 Russians in Hacking of DNC and Clinton Campaign," 13 July 2018 Movidius made a custom chip just for deep learning processes because the steps involved are highly restricted on a CPU. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 Because Gordon’s free agency is restricted, the Magic will have the right to match any offer sheet Gordon might sign with another team. Josh Robbins,, "Aaron Gordon says he’ll do his ‘due diligence’ in restricted free agency," 29 June 2018 But the panelists—all of them current or former university presidents—roundly disagree with the contention that colleges and universities in the U.S. should be restricted to those who live in the country. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "Should America’s Universities Stop Taking So Many International Students?," 28 June 2018 This meant that my blood pressure was always really high, and thus, I was restricted from any type of strenuous activity. Lisa Deaderick,, "A master at wielding the lightsaber and teaching others the sport," 23 June 2018 Nor need MANETs be restricted to communications between people. The Economist, "A new type of battlefield network is in development," 14 June 2018

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

20 Sep 2018

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 \
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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Comments on restrict

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


the setting in which something occurs

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