restrictive

adjective

re·​stric·​tive ri-ˈstrik-tiv How to pronounce restrictive (audio)
1
a
: 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
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 Twin bills slated for state legislative hearings later this month would limit local governments from establishing specific zoning requirements for dispensaries that are more restrictive than state guidelines — effectively ending an enduring debate in the affluent, majority-Black Washington suburb. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2024 Even with its more restrictive working policies, Deutsche is continuing to amplify the benefits of a hybrid model. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 16 Feb. 2024 Thousands of migrants face perilous journeys to the US, with many losing their lives due to restrictive immigration policies. Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 Yet if inflation continues to ebb, the current level of interest rates could be overly restrictive and drag on the economy. Krystal Hur, CNN, 15 Feb. 2024 The service launched on limited flights in 2022 and is still more restrictive than other pet policies at airlines worldwide. Marisa Garcia, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Never restrictive or heavy, these buttery smooth sheets offer impressive temperature regulation, which makes for an altogether more comfortable night. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 12 Feb. 2024 Min Sung, the chief commercial officer of SK On, said that China was getting more restrictive for Korean businesses. Simon Romero, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2024 All candidates were asked to comment on the district’s new, more restrictive policies on sharing campuses with charter schools. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'restrictive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of restrictive was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near restrictive

Cite this Entry

“Restrictive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restrictive. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

restrictive

adjective
re·​stric·​tive ri-ˈstrik-tiv How to pronounce restrictive (audio)
1
: serving or likely to restrict
2
: limiting the reference of a modified word or phrase
restrictive noun
restrictively adverb
restrictiveness noun

Legal Definition

restrictive

adjective
re·​stric·​tive ri-ˈstrik-tiv How to pronounce restrictive (audio)
1
a
: of or relating to restriction
b
: serving or tending to restrict
2
: prohibiting further negotiation
restrictively adverb
restrictiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on restrictive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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