re·​strict | \ ri-ˈstrikt How to pronounce restrict (audio) \
restricted; restricting; restricts

Definition of restrict

transitive verb

1 : to confine within bounds : restrain
2 : to place under restrictions as to use or distribution

Synonyms & Antonyms for restrict



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limit, restrict, circumscribe, confine mean to set bounds for. limit implies setting a point or line (as in time, space, speed, or degree) beyond which something cannot or is not permitted to go. visits are limited to 30 minutes restrict suggests a narrowing or tightening or restraining within or as if within an encircling boundary. laws intended to restrict the freedom of the press circumscribe stresses a restriction on all sides and by clearly defined boundaries. the work of the investigating committee was carefully circumscribed confine suggests severe restraint and a resulting cramping, fettering, or hampering. our choices were confined by finances

Examples of restrict in a Sentence

Her eye problem restricts her reading. She was told to restrict the amount of salt she uses. The new law restricts smoking in public places. They have accused the government of trying to restrict free speech. They say the government is trying to restrict them from speaking out.
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Recent Examples on the Web Human rights advocates have long warned that companies that sell software to governments for the purpose of national security do little to restrict their products’ use and help authoritarian regimes crack down on dissenters. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 16 Nov. 2021 In addition, one of the bills would permit local governments to develop rules of their own to restrict drone use in and over parks and public properties, which the Brook Park draft ordinance already recommends. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 15 Nov. 2021 Germany and France are the latest European countries to restrict the use of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine in younger people, joining a string of Nordic nations including Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Robert Hart, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Lycoming, said the legislation ensures the state controls any decision to restrict the use of an energy source in housing and commercial buildings. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 30 Oct. 2021 Rare cases of such complications led many countries to restrict the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to older age groups., 25 Oct. 2021 Like Super Cruise, BlueCruise uses a combination of surround view cameras, five radar sensors and high-definition maps to restrict use to enable hands-free operation on divided highways. Sam Abuelsamid, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 European cities are using physical boundaries to restrict car use With its new low-traffic transportation plan, Birmingham joins the ranks of European cities trying to reduce the climate impact of cars by pushing them out of the city center. Camille Squires, Quartz, 6 Oct. 2021 As California enters its hottest and driest stretch of the year, which forces municipalities to increasingly restrict water use, the thefts are threatening to make a bad situation even more dire. Brisa Colon, CNN, 22 July 2021

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

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for restrict

Latin restrictus, past participle of restringere

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Time Traveler for restrict

Time Traveler

The first known use of restrict was in 1535

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Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Restrict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for restrict



English Language Learners Definition of restrict

: to limit the amount or range of (something)
: to prevent (someone) from doing something
: to allow (someone) to only have or do a particular thing


re·​strict | \ ri-ˈstrikt How to pronounce restrict (audio) \
restricted; restricting

Kids Definition of restrict

: to keep within bounds : set limits to


transitive verb

Legal Definition of restrict

1 : to subject to bounds or limits restrict the height of buildings restrict visitation rights
2 : to place under restrictions as to use or distribution restricted the land to recreational use

More from Merriam-Webster on restrict

Nglish: Translation of restrict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrict for Arabic Speakers


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