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 For example, the California State Lands Commission only requires a lease when an event restricts public use of the land, like closing a public beach for the competition at Mavericks. Christine Yu, Outside Online, "California Has a New Equal-Pay Act for Athletes," 12 Nov. 2019 The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday downgraded Malaysia's air safety rating, restricting the country's airlines from adding new flights to the United States. Washington Post, "SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites, in another step toward a network broadband Internet service," 11 Nov. 2019 Friday's proposal is just one of many recent unilateral changes the administration has sought to implement to overhaul the nation's legal immigration system and restrict access to asylum protections. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "U.S. seeks to hike fees for immigration applications and impose first-ever asylum charge," 9 Nov. 2019 Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 and restricting or banning the sale of flavored products are the focus of that effort. Christopher Magan, Twin Cities, "Minnesota was winning the war on teen tobacco use. Then vaping became popular.," 9 Nov. 2019 One of the most influential jurisdictions will be the European Union (EU), a market of 500m rich consumers which restricts speech more than America does. The Economist, "Countries are increasingly willing to censor speech online," 7 Nov. 2019 The west suburban college students sued the city in September, arguing that park rules improperly restrict freedom of speech and the students’ right to exercise their religion. Dan Hinkel,, "Wheaton College student evangelist and a radio host testify in First Amendment case, saying city of Chicago keeps them from spreading their messages in Millennium Park," 7 Nov. 2019 Wleh is indeed an anomaly, and not one restricted to squash. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "The Real Cost of Diversifying College Rosters," 7 Nov. 2019 The Financial Times reported that SoftBank is expected on Wednesday to lay out tougher governance standards that would limit the control of start-up founders and restrict dual-class share structures. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "SoftBank's startup woes could cost it billions," 6 Nov. 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

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Restrict.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 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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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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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