off-limits

[ awf-lim-its, of- ]
/ ˈɔfˈlɪm ɪts, ˈɒf- /

adjective

forbidden to be patronized, frequented, used, etc., by certain persons: The tavern is off-limits to soldiers.

Nearby words

  1. off-key,
  2. off-kilter,
  3. off-label,
  4. off-licence,
  5. off-license,
  6. off-line,
  7. off-load,
  8. off-message,
  9. off-mike,
  10. off-off-broadway

Origin of off-limits

An Americanism dating back to 1950–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for off limits

off limits

adjective (off-limits when prenominal)

not to be entered; out of bounds

adverb

in or into an area forbidden by regulations
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 off limits

off-limits

adj.

"forbidden," by 1881, U.S. military academies jargon, from off (adv.) + limit (n.). Earlier (1857) it was applied to cadets, etc., who were in violation of the limitations on their movement and behavior.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper