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

In the absence of federal law, 21 states and the District of Columbia have moved to require more restrictive background checks for private sales. Drew Griffin, Amanda Katz, And Patricia Dicarlo, CNN, "Texas shooting highlights dangers of guns sold without background checks," 9 Sep. 2019 Adding to the restrictive environment, the two aft lavatories on the 737 face each other from across the aisle. Elliott Hester, Los Angeles Times, "Smaller airplane bathrooms? That really stinks," 5 Sep. 2019 The absence of a popular mandate might seem restrictive or humbling to normal politicians. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Great Lie of the Right-Wing Populists," 30 Aug. 2019 The threat is especially notable for counting Latinos, millions of them undocumented and many of whom already fear the government as a result of the administration’s restrictive immigration initiatives. Bill Lambrecht, ExpressNews.com, "Census Bureau launches plan to quickly combat disinformation about 2020 count," 30 Aug. 2019 However, there are some who will claim that such a restrictive view of salvation contradicts God’s love for mankind, but God’s love is demonstrated in Christ’s warning of the people how to avoid the fate. Jeffrey Peters, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Peters: It is the sinner’s responsibility to turn back to God," 30 Aug. 2019 In 2017, Orlando placed more restrictive zoning and design guidelines on self-storage developments. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, "With 300 Central Florida self-storage centers and more on the way, developers warn of oversupply," 28 Aug. 2019 But Thursday night, there were clear loopholes in the new age-restrictive policy and a lack of clarity about how it would be enforced. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky State Fair's new policy on unaccompanied minors has a loophole, raises questions," 23 Aug. 2019 Unlike Berloff’s film, CBS’s Why Women Kill is definitively about characters challenging the restrictive systems that govern their lives. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Cheap Thrills of The Kitchen and Why Women Kill," 19 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for restrictive

Last Updated

12 Sep 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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