Definition of off limits in US English:

off limits


  • 1Out of bounds.

    ‘they declared the site off limits’
    • ‘Up to recently these waters were off limits to Western travelers.’
    • ‘Authorities made the area off limits to fishing, leaving hundreds out of work.’
    • ‘Places that are off limits are especially interesting and should be explored thoroughly.’
    • ‘Anything to the right of yellow is strictly off limits.’
    • ‘Perhaps we should have dug deeper because it's quite apparent now that the whole topic was off limits.’
    • ‘You have to stand up and declare yourself off limits to emotional terrorism.’
    • ‘Now I have made the point more than once that this column is strictly off limits for political partisanship.’
    • ‘Scientists are on the scene, but the mountain is off limits to hikers and climbers.’
    • ‘After the war, Midway remained one of America's military linchpins, and was kept firmly off limits to visitors.’
    • ‘In our puritanical world, where marriages were arranged, romance was off limits.’
    1. 1.1 Not to be mentioned or discussed.
      ‘it was apparent that the whole topic was off limits’
      • ‘I honestly don't know why this argument is off limits.’
      • ‘At no time has Latham stated categorically that the topic of tax-cuts are off limits.’
      • ‘A lot of Americans realize that serious security thinking at the university level requires a free-for-all in which you can't put some subjects off limits for debate.’
      • ‘Discussion of the Civil War seemed to be off limits.’
      • ‘He finally agrees on the condition that discussion of the manager's future is off limits.’
      • ‘The steady shift to the right in official political circles and in the corporate-controlled media puts the most fundamental issues off limits in any encounter between president and press.’
      • ‘His private life was off limits during the interview.’
      • ‘You may remember that he did a Today interview with John Humphreys in which Iraq was off limits.’
      • ‘Methodology in turn falls under the gaze of epistemology, the investigation of investigation itself - nothing is off limits to scientific questioning.’
      • ‘You have the right to free speech in this country with certain areas being off limits.’
      taboo, censored, forbidden, banned, interdicted, proscribed, prohibited, not to be spoken of, ineffable, unspeakable, unutterable, unprintable, indescribable, out of bounds, beyond the pale, off limits, that dare not speak its name, disapproved of, frowned on
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