lim|it1 [ `lımıt ] noun count ***
1. ) the largest or smallest amount or the highest or lowest level of something that is allowed:
speed/spending limits
limit on: There are strict limits on presidential power.
limit to: There has to be a fair limit to the level of migration from other countries.
legal limit: He had consumed more than three times the legal limit of alcohol when he drove home.
time limit: The prescribed time limit must be strictly complied with.
set/impose a limit: Their inflation rate was above the 3% limit set by the Maastricht Treaty.
2. ) the greatest amount or level of something that is possible:
limit to: Obviously there is a limit to the amount we can get done in two weeks.
limit of: The competition tested the limits of her ability.
beyond the limit: This area of the ocean has been fished beyond sustainable limits.
stretch/push/drive someone/something to the limit: The children were stretching my patience to the limit.
3. ) the outer edge of an area:
This line of islands formed the outer limit of the empire.
city limits: No bombs landed within the city limits.
be the limit SPOKEN
to be very annoying or upsetting:
Honestly, that man is the absolute limit!
know your limits
have a clear idea of what you are capable of or how good you are
off limits
1. ) if a place is off limits, you are not allowed to go there:
The evacuated areas remained off limits to the public.
2. ) not allowed or approved of:
Certain controversial subjects remained off limits.
within limits
as long as a situation stays within what is considered reasonable:
We'll take care of all your expenses within limits, of course.
lim|it 2 [ `lımıt ] verb transitive ***
1. ) to prevent a number, amount, or effect from increasing past a particular point:
The hospital limits the number of visitors a patient can have.
The residents' main demand is to limit the amount of heavy traffic using the street.
The regulations are designed to limit environmental damage.
limit something to something: The school board has pledged to limit classes to a maximum of twenty-five students.
2. ) to reduce or control someone's freedom to do what they want or someone's ability to be effective: RESTRICT:
Lack of adequate testing limits the effectiveness of the research.
limit someone to something: The regulations limit each committee to recommendations rather than allowing it to take action.
limit yourself: Most people limit themselves to a few techniques that work best for them.
be limited by something: They were limited by the amount of money they could spend on the production.
3. ) usually passive if something is limited to a particular place or group, it happens only in that place or within that group:
be limited to: NATO officials said that the air strikes were limited to military targets.
The right to vote was limited to heads of households and married women.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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