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 Some recommendations, such as restricting who has access to Banner, are due for implementation Dec. 31. Emily Walkenhorst, Arkansas Online, "Cutbacks at UALR in future," 23 Nov. 2019 The authors point to controversial efforts in New Zealand, France and Denmark to restrict oil and gas exploration, and plans in Germany and Spain to phase out coal mining. Nathanial Gronewold, Scientific American, "Planned Fossil Fuel Extraction Would Blow Past Warming Limits," 22 Nov. 2019 Those who dismiss the Radicals as rabid partisans should note that Stevens’s worries were eminently justified: If the South had been allowed to restrict the franchise, the result would have been the electoral defeat of Republicans—and despotism. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Making Impeachment Matter," 21 Nov. 2019 Cuccinelli has been a vocal proponent of measures to restrict both legal and unauthorized immigration. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Hardliners gain key posts at Trump's citizenship and immigration services agency," 21 Nov. 2019 Police had tried to restrict the protesters to Trafalgar Square, in central London, under Section 14. Anastasia Graham-yooll And Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Order to ban Extinction Rebellion protests in London 'unlawful,' court rules," 6 Nov. 2019 But, first under the management of former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, then current-Secretary David Bernhardt, the department has been trying to restrict transparency by shifting oversight of the FOIA process to political appointees. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Interior Is Losing the Battle to Crack Down on FOIA," 1 Nov. 2019 Guzman found Mayberry didn’t commit harassment, noting that Waterfront Park is a public forum and the government’s ability to restrict speech in a public park is extremely limited. oregonlive, "Anti-abortion street preacher sues city of Portland, alleging his exclusion from Waterfront Park was unconstitutional," 28 Oct. 2019 Thorpe still has one more session in the state House, though, and has committed to working on changes to the state's laws restricting local governments from regulating vacation rental homes. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Flagstaff GOP Rep. Bob Thorpe drops out of Senate race while Dems work to flip district," 24 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for restrict

Time Traveler

The first known use of restrict was in 1535

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Statistics for restrict

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Restrict.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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