[ ri-strik-tiv ]
/ rɪˈstrɪk tɪv /


tending or serving to restrict.
of the nature of a restriction.
expressing or implying restriction or limitation of application, as terms, expressions, etc.
Grammar. limiting the meaning of a modified element: a restrictive adjective.Compare descriptive(def 2b).

Nearby words

  1. restriction fragment length polymorphism,
  2. restriction play,
  3. restriction site,
  4. restriction-site polymorphism,
  5. restrictionism,
  6. restrictive clause,
  7. restrictive covenant,
  8. restrictive practice,
  9. restrictively,
  10. restrike

Origin of restrictive

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French restrictif < Latin restrict(us) (see restrict) + Middle French -if -ive

Related formsre·stric·tive·ly, adverbre·stric·tive·ness, nounun·re·stric·tive, adjectiveun·re·stric·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for restrictive

British Dictionary definitions for restrictive


/ (rɪˈstrɪktɪv) /


restricting or tending to restrict
grammar denoting a relative clause or phrase that restricts the number of possible referents of its antecedent. The relative clause in Americans who live in New York is restrictive; the relative clause in Americans, who are generally extrovert, is nonrestrictive
Derived Formsrestrictively, adverbrestrictiveness, 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 restrictive



early 15c., "serving to bind or draw together," from Middle French restrictif, from Late Latin restrictivus, from Latin restrict-, past participle stem of restringere (see restriction). Meaning "imposing restriction" is from 1570s. Related: Restrictively; restrictiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper