Definition of prohibitive in English:



  • 1(of a law or rule) forbidding or restricting something.

    ‘prohibitive legislation’
    • ‘This restriction may be prohibitive in many applications.’
    • ‘Mr Parlon said the requirement in the Department of Agriculture protocol that a farmer who purchases an animal is prevented from selling any animal from his holding for a period of 20 days is extremely prohibitive.’
    • ‘This will make the restrictions on movements somewhat less prohibitive.’
    • ‘It is also believed to be positioning itself for the impending relaxation of Australia's prohibitive cross-ownership rules, which would allow it to enhance its presence there.’
    • ‘As late as 1971 there was a prohibitive law making the opening of supermarkets and hypermarkets dependent on the issue of three different types of licence and the approval of two distinct levels of government.’
    • ‘According to Foley, the casino's online status has allowed the company to sidestep the Irish government's prohibitive anti-casino legislation.’
    • ‘For the many this is justifiable: gross violations of human rights make ethical demands upon us which cannot be overridden by prohibitive law.’
    • ‘We sold it because French tax law was very prohibitive concerning foreign inheritors.’
    • ‘Many analysts, however, expect Wu to scrap his mega-hotel ambitions if such prohibitive restrictions are imposed.’
    • ‘There were prohibitive laws stifling the development of Mozambique's indigenous manufacturing industry.’
    • ‘This measure allows for more flexibility in the use of housing funds that sit idle because of prohibitive restrictions.’
    • ‘No company continues with its practices if bad publicity occurs, or prohibitive laws or tax regimes are enacted, or shareholders sell up, or investors say stop.’
    • ‘Yet it is a tragic irony that despite a plethora of prohibitive laws and international conventions, this abominable child labor system has been thriving uninhibited.’
    • ‘It may also make clearer that harm reduction is not simply a flag flown by closet libertarians who are philosophically opposed to all prohibitive drug laws.’
    • ‘Incineration has been ruled out as it is too expensive and the regulatory issues involved too prohibitive.’
    • ‘Indeed, in the case of certain drugs, the argument that the harms caused are not so great and the restrictions unduly limiting on lifestyle choices have made the prohibitive laws controversial and widely ignored.’
    • ‘The latest government proposals relating to asylum seekers arriving in Britain are the most prohibitive introduced to date and represent a deepening attack on democratic rights.’
    proscriptive, prohibitory, restrictive, suppressive, repressive, restraining, inhibitory
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Preventing someone from doing something.
      ‘books made browser-proof with prohibitive cellophane wrapping’
      • ‘He did back limited restrictions so long as they didn't have an intended prohibitive effect on individuals.’
      • ‘I try to do some exercises for my back before the temperature becomes too prohibitive.’
      • ‘If chiropractic care were as dangerous as he would have us believe, malpractice premium costs would make practice prohibitive.’
      • ‘Beyond that, the amount of energy required becomes too prohibitive.’
      • ‘We eventually agreed that the size of the hut was prohibitive to display.’
      • ‘Finally, a newly restrictive planning regime for one-off housing is particularly prohibitive towards non-locals.’
  • 2(of a price or charge) so high as to prevent something being done or bought.

    ‘the cost of converting existing power stations is likely to be prohibitive’
    • ‘The cost of car travel becomes prohibitive with the new charges and the cost in time and inconvenience because of the poor public transport system is unreasonable.’
    • ‘The resources needed would be huge and even then the cost factor would prove prohibitive.’
    • ‘They say the charges are prohibitive, and so are parking instead on a different site behind the Railway Institute gymnasium.’
    • ‘Naturally, everyone liked the idea of a fighter but prices were more than prohibitive and, at the best, only one additional member besides the pilot could be taken aloft.’
    • ‘Starks remains at the top of the team's list, but his asking price is prohibitive.’
    • ‘Additionally, conventional medical treatment may be financially prohibitive, especially for those lacking insurance.’
    • ‘If you feel the cost is too prohibitive, then get a group of people together and share vanes.’
    • ‘Many shooters think ivory is the ultimate dressing for a fine gun, but the cost is often prohibitive.’
    • ‘The cost to have an exterminator catch a few rodents should not be prohibitive.’
    • ‘Gone are the days when game was seen as elitist because of prohibitive prices.’
    • ‘The club probably would like to have Tillman back, as long as the price isn't prohibitive.’
    • ‘However, the costs of the necessary hardware and software make it prohibitive, at least in the near future.’
    • ‘Despite the prohibitive price tag, there is no sign of a downturn at the top end of the property market with only 12 of the 27 houses still unsold.’
    • ‘The scarcity of pieces coupled with their frequently prohibitive prices means that if you're not already a proud owner or in line for an inheritance, you will probably never get your hands on any.’
    • ‘It is possible to use our cellular phone to link to the Internet but I fear the charges might be prohibitive.’
    • ‘The choreographer feels high ticket prices are prohibitive to most people and make the arts appear elitist.’
    • ‘He wished to provide golf and other sporting facilities which families could use and enjoy without the cost being prohibitive.’
    • ‘Lack of availability of imported produce, coupled with prohibitive prices, dictate that cooks use what is available locally.’
    • ‘The infamous wallpaper tax, introduced in England in 1712, did not take effect here until 1797 when it caused the already prohibitive price to double.’
    • ‘Had she therefore known that I was the prospective buyer, she may not have chosen to sell the bar to me, or she could have significantly increased her asking price to make it prohibitive for me to make the purchase.’
    excessively high, extortionate, excessive, exorbitant, sky-high, preposterous, outrageous, scandalous, out of the question, beyond one's means, more than one can afford, unreasonable, impossible, overinflated
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in prohibitive (sense 1)): from French prohibitif, -ive or Latin prohibitivus, from prohibit- ‘kept in check’, from the verb prohibere (see prohibit).