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[lim-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌlɪm ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
a limiting condition; restrictive weakness; lack of capacity; inability or handicap:
He knows his limitations as a writer.
something that limits; a limit or bound; restriction:
an arms limitation; a limitation on imports.
the act of limiting.
the state of being limited.
Law. the assignment, as by statute, of a period of time within which an action must be brought, or the period of time assigned:
a statute of limitations.
Origin of limitation
1350-1400; Middle English lymytacion < Latin līmitātiōn- (stem of līmitātiō) a bounding, equivalent to līmitāt(us) (past participle of līmitāre to enclose within boundaries; see limit, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonlimitation, noun
Can be confused
limit, limitation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for limitations
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He early ascertained his limitations with respect to New York and its people.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The happy man is he who knows his limitations, yet bows to no false gods.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • It's well enough for Milly; she doesn't understand her limitations.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Away with it and its limitations, and those of its big brother, the automobile!

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • Phoebe in her earnestness forgot to keep within the limitations of their dialect.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for limitations


something that limits a quality or achievement
the act of limiting or the condition of being limited
(law) a certain period of time, legally defined, within which an action, claim, etc, must be commenced
(property law) a restriction upon the duration or extent of an estate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for limitations



late 14c., from Old French limitacion and directly from Latin limitationem (nominative limitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of limitare (see limit (v.)). Phrase statute of limitations attested by 1768.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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