Definition of limitation in English:



  • 1A limiting rule or circumstance; a restriction.

    ‘severe limitations on water use’
    • ‘He said the president also has reservations about the limitations on issue advertising.’
    • ‘The Transport Minister could clear the quays by invoking parking slot limitations on Dublin Bus.’
    • ‘Universities are still allowed to set limitations on certain majors with special requirements.’
    • ‘The king himself provoked the severe limitations on his power by the ambivalent attitude he displayed towards the Revolution.’
    • ‘Britain's drinking problem is the latest in a list of excuses for prescriptive limitations on society.’
    • ‘However, both statute and case law have imposed some limitations on this power.’
    • ‘There should be limitations on the number of candidates recruited at a time.’
    • ‘Fixed penalty notices can only be given to adults at present which inherently means there are substantial limitations on their use.’
    • ‘This also placed severe limitations on what could be explored.’
    • ‘The situation changes when the rules of the game introduce limitations on available moves.’
    • ‘However, Vine said there might be some limitations on the duties that could be performed by officers waiting to give evidence.’
    • ‘This was a major benefit because of the space and manning limitations on small craft.’
    • ‘All this bill represents is restrictive trade practice and limitations on entry to the industry.’
    • ‘The skilled trades were dominated by craft guilds which imposed strict limitations on entry in order to guarantee their market.’
    • ‘Requirements and limitations on how you treat the enemy on the battlefield and off are part of that.’
    • ‘Now obviously, we don't want to place very many limitations on our freedom of speech.’
    • ‘This is good news for those who oppose federal limitations on biotech research, right?’
    • ‘The degree of uncertainty is often large, and there are limitations on the types of estimate that can be provided.’
    • ‘Messaging during class or lectures gets around the limitations on private voice contact.’
    • ‘There have been attempts at various times in history to try to place certain limitations on what is permitted in war.’
    restriction, curb, restraint, constraint, control, check, clampdown
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A condition of limited ability; a defect or failing.
      ‘she knew her limitations better than she knew her worth’
      • ‘She was quite aware of her own limitations, but absolutely incapable of changing herself.’
      • ‘He flourished in a moment of transition, and his failures measured the limitations of ideas loosely held.’
      • ‘The faults and limitations of the genre are obvious and have been repeatedly stated.’
      • ‘It seems the children quickly appreciated their own limitations and adapted their speed and movements to their abilities.’
      • ‘The crucial part of acceptance of one another is acceptance of our own weaknesses and limitations and that of others.’
      • ‘The lack of accessible, inexpensive books on the subject is an important limitation on the ability of Arab universities to teach about the United States.’
      • ‘The key to avoiding accidents is to be aware of what is going on around you to know the limitations and abilities of your vehicle and yourself.’
      • ‘Many of them realize the deficiency and limitations of science as the only savior of mankind.’
      • ‘Teaching gives a better insight into the art and one's own weaknesses and limitations.’
      • ‘This is where the limitations of both my time and ability to research a stock showed.’
      • ‘These limitations are the main weakness of our systematic review.’
      • ‘In taking responsibility to help others, always be honest and frank about your limitations and abilities.’
      • ‘The key to happiness in this life is being able to accept our weaknesses and limitations with good grace.’
      • ‘We must be alert to our own shortcomings and the limitations and distortions imposed on our imaginations and those of Islam by history.’
      • ‘If he is failing because of a lack of ability they can help him to accept his limitations and focus on his strengths.’
      • ‘For the first time in the play, he feels his own frailties and limitations and notes them.’
      • ‘Historical critique exposes the flaws or limitations of each of the political traditions.’
      • ‘Humility is in reality, a strength and involves acknowledging both our abilities and our limitations.’
      • ‘She recognized her limitations and failings and would mention them and make amendments.’
      • ‘Our abilities may be our first-level of limitations, but it is our willpower that seals it all in for us.’
      imperfection, flaw, defect, failing, shortcoming, weak point, inability, incapability, deficiency, failure, incapacity, frailty, weakness
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[mass noun]The action of limiting something.
      ‘the limitation of local authorities' powers’
      • ‘Once again women and the feminine will be targets for onslaughts of limitation and repression.’
      • ‘The new UK Department of Constitutional Affairs has given its approval to a licence and pot limitation that will prevent any expansion effort within the fishery.’
      • ‘When we are in-phase with unconscious negative beliefs we create a reality based on limitation that prevents us from achieving our full potential in life.’
      • ‘Anthills of the Savannah thereby thematizes it own immanent limitation as representation of reality and capsule of ideas.’
      • ‘After achieving stable non-REM sleep, the CPAP was adjusted to the minimal level required to prevent flow limitation.’
      • ‘One of the main problems that stemmed from this limitation was of representation of other faith traditions.’
      • ‘The level of AS1 transcripts increased strongly under sugar limitation and was repressed in the presence of sugar or when roots were re-fed with sucrose.’
      • ‘First, the gender composition of the sample represents one limitation, in that relatively more women than men elected to respond to the survey.’
      • ‘Calcium was nearly unaffected and, under potassium limitation, it represented the major cation in xylem sap.’
      • ‘But this limitation should at least prevent us from resorting to force and multiplying the number of victims.’
      • ‘The CPAP level required to prevent upper airway flow limitation can be substantially reduced when lung volume is increased.’
  • 2Law
    A legally specified period beyond which an action may be defeated or a property right does not continue.

    • ‘There has been some doubt expressed in the past as to the existence of a limitation period for the tort of fraud or deceit.’
    • ‘This is by way of exception, for unless the court does make a direction the primary limitation period will continue to apply.’
    • ‘That case held that the motions judge made no error in concluding that the limitation period had run, given that the material facts were not in dispute.’
    • ‘He held that a spouse who arranges his or her affairs following divorce, on the assumption that all is resolved, is entitled to rely on the limitation period.’
    • ‘Section 60G empowered a court to extend the application limitation period if it decided that it was just and reasonable to do so.’


Late Middle English: from Latin limitatio(n-), from the verb limitare (see limit).