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 formspro·hib·i·tive·ly, adverbpro·hib·i·tive·ness, nounnon·pro·hib·i·tive, adjectivenon·pro·hib·i·tive·ly, adverbun·pro·hib·i·tive, adjectiveun·pro·hib·i·tive·ly, adverb
Can be confusedprohibitive prohibitory Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prohibitive

Contemporary Examples of prohibitive

Historical Examples of prohibitive

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

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • I've been ashamed ever since, too, that I allowed it to be prohibitive.

  • Prohibitive physical defects are also discovered in this connection.


    Henry Stanton

  • What she wished was to dangle it before my eyes and put a prohibitive price on it.

  • It may also be used with vegetables when the price of butter is prohibitive.

British Dictionary definitions for prohibitive


less commonly prohibitory (prəˈhɪbɪtərɪ, -trɪ)


prohibiting or tending to prohibit
(esp of prices) tending or designed to discourage sale or purchase
Derived Formsprohibitively, adverbprohibitiveness, 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

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