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[proh-hib-i-tiv] /proʊˈhɪb ɪ tɪv/
serving or tending to prohibit or forbid something.
sufficing to prevent the use, purchase, etc., of something:
prohibitive prices.
Origin of prohibitive
From the Medieval Latin word prohibitīvus, dating back to 1595-1605. See prohibit, -ive
Related forms
prohibitively, adverb
prohibitiveness, noun
nonprohibitive, adjective
nonprohibitively, adverb
unprohibitive, adjective
unprohibitively, adverb
Can be confused
prohibitive, prohibitory. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prohibitive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It may also be used with vegetables when the price of butter is prohibitive.

  • Sulkily Papa argued that the cost in any case was prohibitive.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • Here at prices which, except that it is a campaign, would be prohibitive, you can purchase food and drink.

    On the Heels of De Wet The Intelligence Officer
  • What she wished was to dangle it before my eyes and put a prohibitive price on it.

    The Aspern Papers Henry James
  • The only substitute for a dog for certain purposes, it was said, was a monkey, and its price was prohibitive.

British Dictionary definitions for prohibitive


prohibiting or tending to prohibit
(esp of prices) tending or designed to discourage sale or purchase
Derived Forms
prohibitively, adverb
prohibitiveness, noun
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 prohibitive

c.1600, "having the quality of prohibiting," from prohibit + -ive, or else from French prohibitif (16c.), from Late Latin prohibit-, past participle stem of prohibere. Of prices, rates, etc., "so high as to prevent use," it is from 1886. Related: Prohibitively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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