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within bounds

Reasonable and allowable, up to a certain point, as in It's all right to play your stereo, but please keep the volume within bounds . Like its antonym, out of bounds , this term originally referred to the boundaries of a playing area of field.
The American HeritageĀ® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for within bounds
Historical Examples
  • You shall share the same room, and I trust you to keep Irene within bounds.

    A Modern Tomboy L. T. Meade
  • It is only grace that keeps them within bounds, and I am quite as conscious of them as if they were seen.

    'Our guy' Mrs. E. E. Boyd
  • It is within bounds to say that some of the results were astonishing.

    Following the Equator, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Never a branch will have to be shortened to keep it within bounds.

    Amateur Gardencraft Eben E. Rexford
  • Yet grief also has its limits; your sorrowful weeping should be within bounds.

    Woman under Monasticism Lina Eckenstein
  • One would say that a true Englishman could speculate only within bounds.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau
  • This nation had courts, lawyers and doctors, but they were all within bounds.

    Indian Home Rule M. K. Gandhi
  • As regards these, his treasurer has some trouble in keeping him within bounds.

    Akbar P. A. S. van Limburg-Brouwer
  • He realised how hard it was to keep such a spirit as his within bounds.

    The Long Patrol H. A. Cody
  • Could I walk, I might look after things and keep them within bounds.

    The Galaxy Various

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