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



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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 The order specifically addresses right-to-repair and encourages the FTC to limit manufacturers' ability to restrict independent repairs. Brian Fung, CNN, 22 July 2021 Democrats view it as an anti-corruption tonic for dark money, and a pro-democracy shield against efforts to restrict voting access. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 17 July 2021 Laws preventing firearms dealers from selling handguns to young adults under age 21 are unconstitutional, a federal appeals court said Tuesday in a ruling that stands to have implications for efforts to restrict such sales nationally. The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 14 July 2021 Some 76% of respondents backed federal legislation backed by Democrats that would block the state efforts to restrict voting rights, and 62% supported eliminating the Senate filibuster to allow the Democratic majority to pass the legislation. Ron Kampeas,, 14 July 2021 In Philadelphia, President Joe Biden assailed GOP efforts to restrict voting access, calling it the biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War., 13 July 2021 Still, the Biden team is keenly aware of the frustration among activists that the White House has been unable to mount a legislative response to GOP efforts to restrict voting access. Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2021 With the national political spotlight on Texas’ efforts to further restrict voting, the Democratic exodus offers them a platform to continue pleading with Congress to act on restoring federal protections for voters of color. Alexa Ura, Chron, 12 July 2021 Early Friday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to draft new regulations limiting device manufacturers’ ability to restrict independent repairs of their products. Lauren Goode, Wired, 9 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for restrict

Time Traveler

The first known use of restrict was in 1535

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Statistics for restrict

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Restrict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on restrict

Nglish: Translation of restrict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrict for Arabic Speakers


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