restrictive

adjective
re·​stric·​tive | \ ri-ˈstrik-tiv How to pronounce restrictive (audio) \

Definition of restrictive

1a : of or relating to restriction
b : serving or tending to restrict restrictive regulations
2 : limiting the reference of a modified word or phrase
3 : prohibiting further negotiation

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Other Words from restrictive

restrictive noun
restrictively adverb
restrictiveness noun

Did You Know?

Restrictive covenants (that is, agreements) in real-estate deeds were once used to forbid the buyer from ever selling the property to anyone of another race. These are now illegal, though other kinds of restrictive covenants are very common; in some neighborhoods, they may even tell you what colors you can't paint your house. In grammar, a restrictive clause is one that limits the meaning of something that comes before it. In the sentence "That's the professor who I'm trying to avoid", "who I'm trying to avoid" is a restrictive clause, since it's what identifies the professor. But in the sentence "That's my History professor, who I'm trying to avoid", the same clause is nonrestrictive, since the professor has already been identified as "my History professor". There should always be a comma before a nonrestrictive clause, but not before a restrictive clause.

Examples of restrictive in a Sentence

In the sentence “The book that you ordered is out of print,” “that you ordered” is a restrictive clause.
Recent Examples on the Web Allen, the Senate co-author, said many factors likely played a role in the death of the measures, but one takeaway is clear: Environmentalists will unite behind the 2022 ballot initiative, which would be more restrictive on plastic producers. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "Plastic waste cuts probably headed to California ballot as advocates give up on Legislature," 12 Sep. 2020 Looking only at first-rounders is a little restrictive. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Will Ohio State football’s NFL Draft success keep rolling in 2021?," 8 Sep. 2020 China has always been more restrictive with its citizens' Internet use than the US and has long prohibited access to certain platforms and sites, notably including Facebook. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "China plans new data policy in response to Trump admin’s “bullying”," 8 Sep. 2020 Some states have more restrictive laws than others. Cara Korte, CBS News, "Election Day dictionary: All the terms you need to know before you vote in 2020," 6 Sep. 2020 Besides having to navigate the new state rules, some counties are more restrictive. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "'Makes no sense': California faces backlash over its new tiered system for reopening businesses amid COVID-19," 1 Sep. 2020 Pelaez is 12 to 18 months away from opening his doors and believes COVID-19 social-distancing rules for restaurants and bars will be less restrictive by then. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, "In Fort Lauderdale, new restaurant-bars to rise from two historic churches," 19 Aug. 2020 Your daughter caught the wrong end of these parents’ need to be restrictive — as all of this girl’s friends did but one. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: The parents of her daughter’s friend cut her out. What can Mom do?," 9 Aug. 2020 Testing to play against other clubs is overly restrictive. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Soccer group plans to rally at Ohio Department of Health to make sport non-contact," 5 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'restrictive.' 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 restrictive

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for restrictive

Time Traveler

The first known use of restrictive was in 1579

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Statistics for restrictive

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Restrictive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restrictive. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for restrictive

restrictive

adjective
How to pronounce restrictive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of restrictive

: limiting or controlling someone or something
grammar, of a word or group of words : giving information about a person or thing that is needed to understand which person or thing is meant

restrictive

adjective
re·​stric·​tive | \ ri-ˈstrik-tiv How to pronounce restrictive (audio) \

Kids Definition of restrictive

: serving or likely to keep within bounds

restrictive

adjective
re·​stric·​tive | \ ri-ˈstrik-tiv How to pronounce restrictive (audio) \

Legal Definition of restrictive

1a : of or relating to restriction
b : serving or tending to restrict
2 : prohibiting further negotiation

Other Words from restrictive

restrictively adverb
restrictiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on restrictive

Nglish: Translation of restrictive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrictive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on restrictive

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