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.

Example Sentences

In the sentence “The book that you ordered is out of print,” “that you ordered” is a restrictive clause.
Recent Examples on the Web As played by Toby Huss and Julianne Nicholson in the film, Yankovic's parents are hilariously restrictive — at one point, Huss' character smashes his son's beloved accordion to bits. Christian Holub, EW.com, 7 Nov. 2022 Kaitlin Durbin reports an expedited booking process, expected to help reduce the jail’s population by helping to release low-risk offenders on the least restrictive bonds, will not be implemented until at least Labor Day. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 2 Aug. 2022 The law also requires that any use of solitary confinement keep the least restrictive environment necessary for the safety of incarcerated individuals, staff and facility security. Ted Glanzer, Hartford Courant, 27 June 2022 In those cases, the bill says only the least restrictive restraints necessary should be used. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 18 Apr. 2022 Coercion never should be part of the equation unless regulators can show the hurdle is necessary and the least restrictive option available to protect public health and safety. Renée Flaherty, The Week, 15 Apr. 2022 According to Reynolds, the R4 zone is the least restrictive residential zone and allows smaller lots and smaller homes. Eplunus Colvin, Arkansas Online, 2 Feb. 2022 In the least restrictive areas, residents are free to move about in their neighborhoods but not to other parts of the city. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2022 Their goal is preserving community and neighborhood character by rolling back some year-old policy changes that have made San Diego’s granny-flat rules among the least restrictive in California. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

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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