limit#

limit n Limit, bound, confine, end, term are comparable when they mean an actual or imaginary line beyond which a thing does not or cannot extend.
Limit is the most inclusive of these terms because it carries no necessary implication of number, that always being suggested by the context; thus, a thing (as a man's strength, the extent of his authority, or the reach of his arm) may be said to have a limit, implying one only; some other thing (as a race course, a lifetime, or a period of time) may be said to have its limits, but since linear extent and duration are specifically implied, these limits are by implication two in number
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the limits of a room are usually its four walls

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nightingales will not pass their limits; they seem to have a marked-out range as strictly defined as the lines of a geological map— Jefferies

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Also, limit may be applied to a line which is fixed by nature or inner necessity, established by authority, or determined by agreement
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with- in the limits of human reason

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the limit of the fisherman's catch is determined by the state game laws

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lives within the limits of his income

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determine the limits for the treatment of a topic

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the limits of Santayana as a poet . . . are the restraints of an academic habit— Edman

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Bound and confine, on the other hand, are applicable to only one of the limits that comprise the real or imaginary boundaries of a thing. Both terms are used chiefly in the plural, even when the boundary line is continuous and forms a circle or only one side; the same is true of a bounding surface that forms a sphere
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within the bounds of the earth

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thirty bonfires could be counted within the whole bounds of the district— Hardy

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the western confines of China

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within the confines of our subject

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the furthest confines of the family property— Menen

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The distinctions between these two words are not always apparent; however, bounds usually indicates a point of view from within and suggests restriction, and confines indicates a point of view either from within or without and suggests enclosure
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the book passes beyond the bounds of decency

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how they behaved in their spare time, nobody cared, and few knew .... They had no bounds to respect— Fforde

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strain the confines of formal monogamous marriage—La Barre

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End (see also END 2 ; INTENTION) applies usually to one of the two uttermost limits or extremes of a thing; this use is chiefly found in idiomatic phrases
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travel to the ends of the earth

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but it occurs also in reference to either extreme in an ascending or descending scale, or in a series that progresses from one extreme to its diametrical opposite
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at one end of the social scale there is the outcast or the pariah; at the other end, the elite

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admired from one end of Europe to the other— Andrews

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Term applies usually to a limit in duration
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neither history nor archaeology has yet put a term to Roman civilization in London— William Page

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Analogous words: limitation, restriction, circumscription, confinement (see corresponding verbs at LIMIT): *border, margin, verge, edge, rim, brim, brink
limit vb Limit, restrict, circumscribe, confine mean to set or prescribe the bounds for a person or thing.
Limit usually implies the predetermination of a point (as in time, in space, in quantity, in capacity, or in production) beyond which the person or thing concerned cannot go or is not permitted to go without suffering a penalty or incurring undesirable consequences
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limit the speed of automobiles to 45 miles an hour outside of towns and cities

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limit the time allowed for the erection of a building to one year from the date of the signing of the contract

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limit the acreage planted with potatoes

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limit a day's work to five hours

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the great point ... on these sacred occasions was for each man to strictly limit himself to half-a-pint of liquor— Hardy

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the Constitution limits his functions in the law-making process to the recommending . . . and the vetoing of laws— Current History

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But limit may also be used with reference to a bound or bounds not predetermined but inherent in a situation or in the nature or constitution of a thing
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the poor soil limited their crops

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a lonely young girl limited ... by the absence of compan-ionship— Handlin

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or brought about as desirable by conscious effort or by full choice
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medical science knows how to limit these evils— Eliot

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limited his aspirations to the search for the attainable

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Restrict, in contrast to limit, suggests a boundary that encircles and encloses rather than a point that ends; the term therefore often applies to something which can be thought of in the terms of the space, territory, or field that it covers. The word often also connotes a narrowing or tightening
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restrict the powers of a court

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restrict the freedom of the press

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restricted his diet on orders from his physician

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the bureau was dismembered, its staff dispersed, and its appropriations for research restricted almost to the vanishing point— Heiser

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Combinations have arisen which restrict the very freedom that
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Bentham sought to attain— Justice Holmes

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Circumscribe differs from restrict in that its implication of an encircling or enclosing boundary is always clear; consequently, it is often preferred to restrict when the idea of being kept within too small an extent or range is to be stressed
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people . . . think that the emotional range, and the realistic truth, of drama is limited and circumscribed by verse— T. S. Eliot

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or when there is the intent to suggest a distinct, complete, but limited whole and its apartness from all that surrounds it
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to undertake here to inquire into the degree of its necessity, would be to pass the line which circumscribes the judicial department— John Marshall

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the world to which they belonged and for which they worked was strictly circumscribed and complete within itself— Binyon

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Confine may imply limitation, restriction, or circumscription, but it usually emphasizes the bounds which must not or cannot be passed; consequently, it often suggests severe restraint or restraints and carries connotations such as those of cramping, fettering, hampering, or bottling up that are not often present in the other words
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now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in to saucy doubts and fears— Shak.

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the distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished, if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed— John Marshall

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it is not desirable to confine knowledge to whatever can be put into a useful shape for examinations, drawing rooms, or the still more pretentious modes of publicity— T. S. Eliot

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we are confined to our senses for perceiving the world— Darrow

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Analogous words: define, *prescribe, assign: *restrain, curb, check
Antonyms: widen
Contrasted words: *expand, swell, distend: enlarge, *increase: *extend, lengthen, prolong, protract

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Limit — Limit …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • limit*/*/*/ — [ˈlɪmɪt] noun [C] I 1) the greatest amount or level of something that is possible or allowed The speed limit here is forty miles an hour.[/ex] There is a limit to what we can do in two weeks.[/ex] 2) the outer edge of an area No bombs landed… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • Limit — Lim it (l[i^]m [i^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Limited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Limiting}.] [F. limiter, L. limitare, fr. limes, limitis, limit; prob. akin to limen threshold, E. eliminate; cf. L. limus sidelong.] To apply a limit to, or set a limit for;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Limit — Lim it (l[i^]m [i^]t), n. [From L. limes, limitis: cf. F. limite; or from E. limit, v. See {Limit}, v. t.] 1. That which terminates, circumscribes, restrains, or confines; the bound, border, or edge; the utmost extent; as, the limit of a walk, of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Limit — steht für eine Mengengrenze oder Betragsgrenze, siehe Grenzwert einen Begriff aus dem Pokerspiel, siehe Liste von Pokerbegriffen einen Orderzusatz einer Wertpapierorder in Form einer Kursober oder untergrenze, siehe Limitorder Limit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • limit — [lim′it] n. [OFr limite < L limes (gen. limitis), border, frontier] 1. the point, line, or edge where something ends or must end; boundary or border beyond which something ceases to be or to be possible 2. [pl.] bounds; boundary lines 3. the… …   English World dictionary

  • limit — I noun ambit, border, bound, boundary, boundary line, circumscriptio, circumscription, extreme boundary final point, finis, fringe, frontier, furthest point, line of demarcation, outer edge, outer line, outer point, perimeter, rim, terminus,… …   Law dictionary

  • Limit — Sn Grenze, Preisrahmen erw. fach. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. limit, dieses aus frz. limite f., aus l. līmes (limitis) m. Grenzlinie, Querweg, Rain . Schon früher aus dem Französischen entlehnt ist die verbale Ableitung limitieren.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • limit — lìmit m DEFINICIJA 1. ograničenje, granica 2. veličina ili vrijednost koja se ne smije prekoračiti [postaviti limit; dosegnuti limit] 3. ekon. bank. najviša cijena po kojoj se može kupiti ili prodati neki vrijednosni papir, deviza ili roba… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • limit — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż I, D. u, Mc. limiticie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} nieprzekraczalna granica określająca ilość czegoś, np. kosztów, czasu, etatów, studentów : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Limit czasu. Przekroczyć limit pieniężny. Limit przyjęć na… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

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