Definition of restrict in English:



[with object]
  • 1Put a limit on; keep under control.

    ‘some roads may have to be closed at peak times to restrict the number of visitors’
    • ‘State and local regulations restrict smoking in a culture that further discourages it.’
    • ‘Government policy has tried to stop or at least restrict slash-and-burn cultivation, both in Finland earlier and in the tropics today.’
    • ‘First, like all historical research grounded in the archive, comparative international analysis is restricted by the availability of source data.’
    • ‘He argued that in the long run export trade would be restricted by the tariff barrier to importation.’
    • ‘But the Minister, under pressure from the farming unions, failed to restrict cattle movements.’
    • ‘Efforts to create water user associations in rural areas were limited by laws restricting their right to collect and spend their own money.’
    • ‘The 1996 law severely restricts the ability of federal courts to overturn decisions in state trials.’
    • ‘That a patent holder's rights can sometimes be restricted by competition law is controversial.’
    • ‘We are told the outage impacted a majority of customers, as well as restricting the company's own access to the system.’
    • ‘Although the movement restrictions are restricting business, farmers must use the livestock markets or risk losing them altogether.’
    • ‘Trees and shrubs close to the lagoon restrict air flow and block sunlight that algae need to produce oxygen.’
    • ‘Patent holders can charge a license fee for their invention and restrict who uses it.’
    • ‘Tax deductible motor running expenses will also be restricted by reference to this new limit from December 1999.’
    • ‘A restrictive clause is one which limits, or restricts, the scope of the noun it is referring to.’
    • ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree that governments should be allowed to restrict the the import of goods which they believe may be damaging to the health of the population?’
    • ‘Third, money laundering is conducted as a way of handling illegal gains, and so stopping the laundering should restrict the committing of those other crimes.’
    • ‘Such digging, if not properly planned and executed, can damage or destroy tree root systems, restrict tree root growth, and alter subsurface soil water movement.’
    • ‘The Town planning act restricts the way it can advertise outside and inside its buildings.’
    • ‘For this reason, the Act restricts the creditor's right to terminate the contract, even in cases where his decision is not motivated by the debtor's default but is based on a specific termination clause in the agreement.’
    • ‘Latest figures show that industrial and service resources are being stretched to the full, restricting growth and hampering new investment.’
    limit, impose limits on, set limits on, keep within bounds, keep under control, regulate, control, moderate, cut down on
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    1. 1.1 Deprive (someone or something) of freedom of movement or action.
      ‘cities can restrict groups of protesters from gathering on a residential street’
      • ‘Why should the nationality of our parents be used to categorise us and restrict our rights of freedom and nationality?’
      • ‘Movement of non-EEA nationals between member states is restricted by the need for a separate work permit in each European member state.’
      • ‘As a result, the personal freedom of the serf was restricted in a number of ways.’
      • ‘Brotherston's sumptuous brocade and silk costumes give a flavor of the era without restricting today's demand for movement.’
      • ‘Her excitement caused him to diagnose an erratic heartbeat, which restricted freedom of movement and made her feel like an invalid.’
      • ‘However, this armor also restricts movement, and makes it difficult to see anything but a narrow view.’
      • ‘Both parties have restricted the freedom of movement of the population and imposed rules to curb mobility in specific areas or during certain parts of the day.’
      • ‘Blood thirst blurred his vision as he howled with rage, shattering the invisible shackles that restricted his body.’
      • ‘For example, a new National Forest Code in 1827 restricted the entry of livestock to wooded areas.’
      • ‘In a society with no laws, then a mafia that extorts me (of their own free will) restricts my freedom and any systematic attempt to curtail them becomes a de facto law.’
      • ‘There were only four main ways off the beach area and flooding would have severely restricted any form of movement, but especially that of vehicles.’
      • ‘We share those customary rights with all comers there, and we do not restrict their access.’
      • ‘Documents both assisting and restricting freedom of movement across jurisdictions could be traced backwards from passports through letters of credit to non-verbal graphic identifiers.’
      • ‘Magdalena was dressed in a curious style of Kalorian finery - the style, Alexander knew, that was not quite fancy enough to impede or restrict motion, but elegant enough for nearly any occasion.’
      • ‘Successful women performers thus had to have a demure appearance and restrict their body movements on stage to conform to idealized concepts of womanhood.’
      • ‘But the existence of such exploitation and ‘creaming off’ of skills is not an argument for restricting the movement of people, skilled or unskilled.’
      • ‘This might take the form of individual and personal interference with a single drinker, or it might take the form of a massive social movement aimed at restricting the freedom of all drinkers and at destroying the saloon as an institution.’
      • ‘Mosley was now investigating the dilemma that the freedom of the mind is restricted by its own structures.’
      • ‘There are risks both ways, risks in allowing young people freedom and risks in restricting it.’
      • ‘As they restricted the movement of people and animals, they were widely disliked by rural Africans.’
      hinder, interfere with, impede, hamper, obstruct, block, slow, check, curb, retard, handicap, straitjacket, tie, cramp
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    2. 1.2restrict someone to Limit someone to only doing or having (a particular thing) or staying in (a particular place)
      ‘I shall restrict myself to a single example’
      • ‘Erring on the side of caution, TMM restricts bareboaters to sailing within the reef; if a client damages a boat on an offshore atoll, it could be months before the weather allows a salvage vessel to recover it.’
      • ‘Being independently run, owner Elspeth Hart is not restricted to what drinks she can offer her customers.’
      • ‘Because of space, the number of people who can attend a ceremony in Markievicz is restricted to 35.’
      • ‘This is a perspective that restricts artists to the task of recreating historical archetypes rather than creating new possibilities for experience and meaning.’
      • ‘A change in IRB regulations now restricts players to one nation representation at the international level.’
      • ‘The licence restricts Kerry to run the operation in a designated location.’
      • ‘Individuals that do qualify for purchasing these savings bonds are restricted to a yearly limit of $30,000 face value, but the purchase of one series does not affect subsequent purchases of the other.’
      • ‘Since the pipeline operator is not restricted to physically limiting onshore pipeline pressures to lower than 150 Bar, nor has any adequate design to avoid such overpressure being released’
      • ‘He has had to take out an entertainment licence which restricts him to 100 people, most of whom will come from the village.’
      • ‘Otherwise you'll just have to pump as much as you can into the scheme through voluntary contributions, although scope here is limited as you are restricted to a maximum of 15% of your annual salary.’
      • ‘Some, like Macmillan, have a page limit, restricting themselves to long short stories, or truncated novels.’
      • ‘For the sake of this documentary, he restricts himself to a 30-day diet of nothing but food and drink found on the McDonald's menu.’
      • ‘The mum-of-one, who is off work due to a bad back, parked on the fifth floor of the multi-storey and then went into the centre to pick up the disc, which restricts shoppers to a maximum stay of three hours in the free car park.’
      • ‘The food bank at Simon Fraser University, for example, restricts students to eight visits per semester.’
      • ‘He prefers to steer away from solo recordings and restricts himself to live performances or complete opera recordings.’
      • ‘The Tagammu Party also called for the amendment of the Constitution that restricts the president to a maximum of two shorter terms in office, and limits his currently extensive authority.’
      • ‘Manager David Barham added: ‘The wedding guests will be restricted to to a very tightly controlled area which includes the buildings and main courtyard.’’
      • ‘Initially, I restricted myself to conducting interviews in and immediately around town, as a way both to improve my spoken Swahili and to refine my methodology.’
      • ‘The 2001 policy restricts expats to a maximum stay of six years, or nine years for ‘key staff’.’
      • ‘Lamontagne also blames an airline policy that restricts passengers to carrying small dogs, cats and rabbits in cabin while other pets travel in storage.’
      confine, limit
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    3. 1.3restrict something to Limit something to (a particular place, time, or group)
      ‘the Zoological Gardens were at first restricted to members and their guests’
      • ‘Admission is free, but the maximum number of visitors each day will be restricted to between 300 and 400.’
      • ‘Unlike last year's festival, which was dominated by music shows, this year's festival restricts it to two forms: the plurality of Nusantara music and klamelan, a mixture of pop and traditional gamelan music.’
      • ‘Those journeys will be restricted to 14 days, when before there was no maximum stay.’
      • ‘Under new legislation which comes into force next year, the sale of fireworks will be restricted to three weeks before and a few days after November 5 and for a similar period around the New Year.’
      • ‘The St Mirren chairman said: ‘Our own allocation is only 5,000 and tickets will be restricted to four per person.’’
      • ‘To limit the number of variables considered simultaneously, we restricted analyses to the 1304 women who had eaten no fish salad and who had consumed hot meals and open sandwiches with fish with the same frequency.’
      • ‘She added that the displays had been restricted to five minutes and would take place at 9pm - the earliest possible time given the light evenings.’
      • ‘A date limit option is provided to restrict your search to the more recent records.’
      • ‘But in India, your stake is restricted to 26 per cent.’
      • ‘Site working hours for noisy activities will be restricted to 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.’
      • ‘Established by the African Union six months ago, the 265-member parliament is embarking on an initial five-year formative stage during which its role will be restricted to that of a consultative and advisory body.’
      • ‘Children can take a maximum of five classes and the numbers in the groups are restricted to 15 for each session.’
      • ‘She is losing her eyesight, cannot walk, and her speech is restricted to just a handful of words.’
      • ‘As long as the meter is ticking, users will limit their time online, thus restricting their ability to fully exploit and enjoy what the internet can deliver.’
      • ‘When they come the cuts could be restricted to just one reduction of 0.25% for the rest of the year, he said.’
      • ‘And we don't have a computer between us, so we couldn't join by e-mail as requested, which restricts the event to a minority of people.’
      • ‘A swipe card system has also been introduced to restrict parking to a specific area.’
      • ‘Adults were also drawn into the study to demonstrate that favourable comparisons to former selves are not restricted to twenty-somethings looking back in horror at their spotty, air-guitaring 16-year-old selves.’
      • ‘Furthermore, those fishing will be restricted to 20 kg of filleted fish at any time, except at home - which, according to Fisheries Minister Kim Chance, represents a generous haul of up to 100 serves of fish.’
      • ‘The service station was eventually given the go-ahead, but trading hours have been restricted to 6 am - 10 pm.’
    4. 1.4 Withhold (information) from general disclosure.
      ‘at first the Americans tried to restrict news of their involvement in Vietnam’
      • ‘Some privacy advocates argue that certain personal identifiers should be restricted from disclosure, and there are a number of bills pending in Congress to strengthen individual privacy.’
      • ‘The government faced a barrage of criticism this weekend after it published its proposals to amend the Freedom of Information Act, restricting public access to information on the workings of government.’
      • ‘Even from the perspective of the direct marketer, it is difficult to see how or why restricting information flows ‘reduces’ values.’
      • ‘In the rush to secure the nation, government officials have once again looked to restricting access to information as a cure-all.’
      • ‘And problems of restricting information have to be dealt with directly.’
      • ‘We have defamation laws to protect people from reputational harm - indeed we have gone overboard with such laws and have thereby damaged the public interest in restricting access to important information.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin restrict- ‘confined, bound fast’, from the verb restringere (see restrain).