lim·​it | \ ˈli-mət How to pronounce limit (audio) \

Definition of limit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something that bounds, restrains, or confines the age limit for junior golf
b : the utmost extent pushed her body to the limit
2a : a geographic or political boundary
b limits plural : the place enclosed within a boundary : bounds into the limits of the North they came— John Milton
3 : limitation the sadness is without limit— William Shakespeare
4 : a determining feature or differentia in logic
5 : a prescribed maximum or minimum amount, quantity, or number: such as
a : the maximum quantity of game or fish that may be taken legally in a specified period
b : a maximum established for a gambling bet, raise, or payoff
6a : a number whose numerical difference from a mathematical function is arbitrarily small for all values of the independent variables that are sufficiently close to but not equal to given prescribed numbers or that are sufficiently large positively or negatively
b : a number that for an infinite sequence of numbers is such that ultimately each of the remaining terms of the sequence differs from this number by less than any given positive amount
7 : something that is exasperating or intolerable We've had bad weather, but this is the limit.


limited; limiting; limits

Definition of limit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to assign certain limits to : prescribe reserved the right to limit use of the land
2a : to restrict the bounds or limits of the specialist can no longer limit himself to his specialty
b : to curtail or reduce in quantity or extent we must limit the power of aggressors

Other Words from limit


limitless \ ˈli-​mət-​ləs How to pronounce limit (audio) \ adjective
limitlessly adverb
limitlessness noun


limitable \ ˈli-​mə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce limit (audio) \ adjective
limiter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for limit

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for limit


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 limit in a Sentence

Noun He has reached the limit of his endurance. In training, she pushed her body to its physical limits. He tries to be creative within the limits of conventional journalism. There are limits to what I can put up with from him! Verb We need to find ways to limit expenses. He tried to limit the damage to his reputation by blaming other people. A factor limiting our country's economic performance is its lack of resources. Our lack of money limits our options. Because of our lack of money, we have to limit ourselves to fewer options. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There is no limit on the number of units that can be bought in person in Target stores, the company said. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 8 May 2022 There is seemingly no limit to the functionality of a DAO. Sundance Monty Brennan, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The Friends of the Parma Libraries still has a large inventory of adult hardbound books that will be on sale throughout the month of May. Cost is 50 cents per book and there is no limit. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 3 May 2022 As for characters or stories that the singer would love to potentially see appear in future games, Aguilera declares that the sky’s the limit. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2022 Administration officials said there is no limit on how many Ukrainians a person or entity can sponsor. Luke Barr, ABC News, 21 Apr. 2022 Should Jenkins establish her footing within the club, the sky’s the limit for the attacker. Mike Gramajo, Orlando Sentinel, 16 Apr. 2022 By contrast, there is no limit under the city’s laws for how much a candidate can contribute to their own campaign for mayor, city attorney or city controller, so long as that money is coming from their personal funds. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 If even Shanghai could be cut off, people might worry there was no limit to how far the government would go, said Lynette Ong, a political scientist at the University of Toronto. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protests from parents and a growing number of Democrats are a warning to the Administration that its sneaky push to limit school choice is regressive and unpopular. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 May 2022 Bills would come up for votes — to expand or limit services — only to fail along party lines or be stripped out of broader legislative packages. Lisa Mascaro, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 But in recent weeks, the products have been especially hard to find, forcing some retailers to limit purchases as the Food and Drug Administration scrambles to react to the crisis. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Bills would come up for votes — to expand or limit services — only to fail along party lines or be stripped out of broader legislative packages. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 11 May 2022 Bills would come up for votes — to expand or limit services — only to fail along party lines or be stripped out of broader legislative packages. Lisa Mascaro,, 11 May 2022 In 2015, most of the world signed onto the Paris Agreement, aiming to limit temperature rise to 2C, but preferably 1.5C. Hannah Ryan, CNN, 10 May 2022 President Biden on Monday announced commitments from 20 communications companies, which include several operating in Arizona, to limit internet bills to $30 a month for some eligible households. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2022 Supply issues have promoted major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS to limit formula purchases. Leada Gore |, al, 9 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'limit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of limit


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for limit

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French limite, from Latin limit-, limes boundary

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Time Traveler for limit

Time Traveler

The first known use of limit was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near limit




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Statistics for limit

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Limit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for limit


lim·​it | \ ˈli-mət How to pronounce limit (audio) \

Kids Definition of limit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a point beyond which it is impossible to go She runs often, but she knows her limits.
2 : an amount or number that is the lowest or highest allowed After I spent my limit, I went home.
3 : a boundary line the city limits


limited; limiting

Kids Definition of limit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place a control on the size or extent of something I need to limit expenses.

More from Merriam-Webster on limit

Nglish: Translation of limit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of limit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about limit


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