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 There is now a circulating petition to repeal the aforementioned law in order to restrict the governor’s powers. Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press, "Where Michigan didn't — and did — stay home on the Fourth of July weekend," 9 July 2020 The 11 casinos and racinos were closed from March 14 through June 18 under the governor’s order to restrict mass gatherings. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Ohio’s reopened casinos, racinos begin raking in money again, but now nearly $500 million behind 2019," 7 July 2020 But the pandemic continues to worsen, and last week Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texans to wear face masks in public and gave local officials power to restrict outdoor gatherings with more than 10 people. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "THSCA cancels in-person convention and coaching school, will hold event virtually only," 6 July 2020 The governor's order also gives local officials the power to restrict certain outdoor gatherings that exceed 10 people. Fox News, "Texas sees highest number of coronavirus cases recorded since start of pandemic," 5 July 2020 On the national level, police reforms might be coming with legislation to restrict the use of police chokeholds and other practices up for debate in Congress. oregonlive, "Clackamas County deputy who knelt on black 12-year-old boy’s neck has left him in ‘fear of police,’ $300,000 lawsuit says," 18 June 2020 Democrats in Congress have proposed legislation that would limit protections for police accused of misconduct and restrict the use of deadly force. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court's deference to police for 'reasonable' conduct faces scrutiny in wake of brutality cases," 12 June 2020 What if cities courted both companies and workers based on their policies to restrict unethical use of technology? Owen Thomas,, "The tech industry may be ready to defund facial recognition," 10 June 2020 The pleas for change have taken a variety of forms — including measures to restrict police use of military-style equipment and efforts to require officers to face strict discipline in cases of misconduct. John Eligon,, "After protests, politicians reconsider police budgets and discipline," 8 June 2020

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

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Restrict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for restrict


How to pronounce restrict (audio)

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

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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