verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. limicolous,
  2. limina,
  3. liminal,
  4. liminality,
  5. liming,
  6. limit dextrin,
  7. limit dextrinase,
  8. limit man,
  9. limit of proportionality,
  10. limit of resolution

Origin of limit

1325–75; Middle English lymyt < Latin līmit- (stem of līmes) boundary, path between fields

Related forms
Can be confusedboundary limit parameter variable (see synonym study at boundary) (see usage note at parameter)limit limitation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for limit

British Dictionary definitions for limit



(sometimes plural) the ultimate extent, degree, or amount of somethingthe limit of endurance
(often plural) the boundary or edge of a specific areathe city limits
(often plural) the area of premises within specific boundaries
the largest quantity or amount allowed
  1. a value to which a function f(x) approaches as closely as desired as the independent variable approaches a specified value (x = a) or approaches infinity
  2. a value to which a sequence a n approaches arbitrarily close as n approaches infinity
  3. the limit of a sequence of partial sums of a convergent infinite seriesthe limit of 1 + ½ + ¼ + ⅛ + … is 2
maths one of the two specified values between which a definite integral is evaluated
the limit informal a person or thing that is intolerably exasperating
off limits
  1. out of bounds
  2. forbidden to do or usesmoking was off limits everywhere
within limits to a certain or limited extentI approve of it within limits

verb -its, -iting or -ited (tr)

to restrict or confine, as to area, extent, time, etc
law to agree, fix, or assign specifically
Derived Forms

Word Origin for limit

C14: from Latin līmes boundary

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

Word Origin and History for limit
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for limit




The point, edge, or line beyond which something cannot or may not proceed.
A confining or restricting object, agent, or influence.
The greatest or least amount, number, or extent allowed or possible.


To confine or restrict within a boundary or bounds.
To fix definitely; to specify.
Related formslimit•a•ble adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for limit



A number or point for which, from a given set of numbers or points, one can choose an arbitrarily close number or point. For example, for the set of all real numbers greater than zero and less than one, the numbers one and zero are limit points, since one can pick a number from the set arbitrarily close to one or zero (even though one and zero are not themselves in the set). Limits form the basis for calculus, where a number L is defined to be the limit approached by a function f(x) as x approaches a if, for every positive number ε, there exists a number δ such that |;f(x)-L|; < ε if 0 < |;x-a|; < δ.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with limit


see go whole hog (the limit); sky's the limit; the limit.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.