Definition of restrict in English:



  • 1 Put a limit on; keep under control.

    ‘some roads may have to be closed at peak times to restrict the number of visitors’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘A restrictive clause is one which limits, or restricts, the scope of the noun it is referring to.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the Minister, under pressure from the farming unions, failed to restrict cattle movements.’
    • ‘State and local regulations restrict smoking in a culture that further discourages it.’
    • ‘Latest figures show that industrial and service resources are being stretched to the full, restricting growth and hampering new investment.’
    • ‘That a patent holder's rights can sometimes be restricted by competition law is controversial.’
    • ‘The 1996 law severely restricts the ability of federal courts to overturn decisions in state trials.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘First, like all historical research grounded in the archive, comparative international analysis is restricted by the availability of source data.’
    • ‘Efforts to create water user associations in rural areas were limited by laws restricting their right to collect and spend their own money.’
    • ‘Government policy has tried to stop or at least restrict slash-and-burn cultivation, both in Finland earlier and in the tropics today.’
    • ‘We are told the outage impacted a majority of customers, as well as restricting the company's own access to the system.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tax deductible motor running expenses will also be restricted by reference to this new limit from December 1999.’
    • ‘Although the movement restrictions are restricting business, farmers must use the livestock markets or risk losing them altogether.’
    • ‘The Town planning act restricts the way it can advertise outside and inside its buildings.’
    • ‘He argued that in the long run export trade would be restricted by the tariff barrier to importation.’
    limit, impose limits on, set limits on, keep within bounds, keep under control, regulate, control, moderate, cut down on
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    1. 1.1Deprive (someone or something) of freedom of movement or action.
      ‘cities can restrict groups of protesters from gathering on a residential street’
      • ‘There are risks both ways, risks in allowing young people freedom and risks in restricting it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As they restricted the movement of people and animals, they were widely disliked by rural Africans.’
      • ‘For example, a new National Forest Code in 1827 restricted the entry of livestock to wooded areas.’
      • ‘Mosley was now investigating the dilemma that the freedom of the mind is restricted by its own structures.’
      • ‘However, this armor also restricts movement, and makes it difficult to see anything but a narrow view.’
      • ‘Brotherston's sumptuous brocade and silk costumes give a flavor of the era without restricting today's demand for movement.’
      • ‘Successful women performers thus had to have a demure appearance and restrict their body movements on stage to conform to idealized concepts of womanhood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As a result, the personal freedom of the serf was restricted in a number of ways.’
      • ‘Why should the nationality of our parents be used to categorise us and restrict our rights of freedom and nationality?’
      • ‘Blood thirst blurred his vision as he howled with rage, shattering the invisible shackles that restricted his body.’
      • ‘Her excitement caused him to diagnose an erratic heartbeat, which restricted freedom of movement and made her feel like an invalid.’
      • ‘Movement of non-EEA nationals between member states is restricted by the need for a separate work permit in each European member state.’
      • ‘But the existence of such exploitation and ‘creaming off’ of skills is not an argument for restricting the movement of people, skilled or unskilled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We share those customary rights with all comers there, and we do not restrict their access.’
      hinder, interfere with, impede, hamper, obstruct, block, slow, check, curb, retard, handicap, straitjacket, tie, cramp
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    2. 1.2Limit someone to only doing or having (a particular thing) or staying in (a particular place)
      ‘I shall restrict myself to a single example’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 2001 policy restricts expats to a maximum stay of six years, or nine years for ‘key staff’.’
      • ‘A change in IRB regulations now restricts players to one nation representation at the international level.’
      • ‘Because of space, the number of people who can attend a ceremony in Markievicz is restricted to 35.’
      • ‘He has had to take out an entertainment licence which restricts him to 100 people, most of whom will come from the village.’
      • ‘The licence restricts Kerry to run the operation in a designated location.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Being independently run, owner Elspeth Hart is not restricted to what drinks she can offer her customers.’
      • ‘This is a perspective that restricts artists to the task of recreating historical archetypes rather than creating new possibilities for experience and meaning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He prefers to steer away from solo recordings and restricts himself to live performances or complete opera recordings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Manager David Barham added: ‘The wedding guests will be restricted to to a very tightly controlled area which includes the buildings and main courtyard.’’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lamontagne also blames an airline policy that restricts passengers to carrying small dogs, cats and rabbits in cabin while other pets travel in storage.’
      • ‘Some, like Macmillan, have a page limit, restricting themselves to long short stories, or truncated novels.’
      • ‘The food bank at Simon Fraser University, for example, restricts students to eight visits per semester.’
      • ‘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.’
      confine, limit
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    3. 1.3Limit something, especially an activity, to (a particular place, time, or category of people)
      ‘the zoological gardens were at first restricted to members and their guests’
      • ‘A swipe card system has also been introduced to restrict parking to a specific area.’
      • ‘The St Mirren chairman said: ‘Our own allocation is only 5,000 and tickets will be restricted to four per person.’’
      • ‘When they come the cuts could be restricted to just one reduction of 0.25% for the rest of the year, he said.’
      • ‘A date limit option is provided to restrict your search to the more recent records.’
      • ‘Those journeys will be restricted to 14 days, when before there was no maximum stay.’
      • ‘But in India, your stake is restricted to 26 per cent.’
      • ‘The service station was eventually given the go-ahead, but trading hours have been restricted to 6 am - 10 pm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Site working hours for noisy activities will be restricted to 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.’
      • ‘Children can take a maximum of five classes and the numbers in the groups are restricted to 15 for each session.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Admission is free, but the maximum number of visitors each day will be restricted to between 300 and 400.’
      • ‘She is losing her eyesight, cannot walk, and her speech is restricted to just a handful of words.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4Withhold (information) from general circulation or disclosure.
      ‘at first the government tried to restrict news of our 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.’
      • ‘In the rush to secure the nation, government officials have once again looked to restricting access to information as a cure-all.’
      • ‘Even from the perspective of the direct marketer, it is difficult to see how or why restricting information flows ‘reduces’ values.’
      • ‘And problems of restricting information have to be dealt with directly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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).