Definition of limitation in English:



  • 1often limitationsA limiting rule or circumstance; a restriction.

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


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