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

What more restrictive laws do lead to is women attempting to self-induce their abortions. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anti-Abortion Activists Are Still Defending Forced Birth with Debunked Science," 26 Jan. 2019 That makes it, in a purely legal sense, more restrictive. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Europe, it is both easier and harder to get an abortion than in US," 24 May 2018 The Shenandoah lockup is one of only three juvenile detention facilities in the United States with federal contracts to provide ‘‘secure placement’’ for children who had problems at less-restrictive housing. Michael Biesecker, BostonGlobe.com, "Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse," 21 June 2018 The city’s zoning laws are among the most restrictive in the country. The Economist, "Can a new mayor fix San Francisco’s housing and homelessness problems?," 31 May 2018 But players often value performance and technique over protection that feels restrictive to them. Profootballdoc, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The ACL 'epidemic' continues in NFL," 23 May 2018 Eating vegan no longer feels restrictive — especially when exploring the grocery aisles of Trader Joe's. refinery29.com, "We Tried Trader Joe's Best Vegan Buys — & Here Are Our Favorites," 26 Mar. 2018 Accommodations can feel restrictive to those used to hotels; check-in hours can be limited, and some of these places do enforce curfews (say, around 11:30 p.m.). Rick Steves, miamiherald, "Looking for a room for the night? Europe’s convents offer tranquility — and treats | Miami Herald," 9 Mar. 2018 Not only will the weight almost certainly come back, this old-school restrictive plan divorces us from the realities of our everyday lives. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Military Diet, According to a Nutritionist," 11 Dec. 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for restrictive

The first known use of restrictive was in 1579

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More Definitions for restrictive

restrictive

adjective

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on restrictive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with restrictive

Spanish Central: Translation of restrictive

Nglish: Translation of restrictive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrictive for Arabic Speakers

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