limit ( limits plural & 3rd person present) ( limiting present participle) ( limited past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A limit is the greatest amount, extent, or degree of something that is possible.
usu sing, usu with supp
Her love for him was being tested to its limits..., There is no limit to how much fresh fruit you can eat in a day...
2 n-count A limit of a particular kind is the largest or smallest amount of something such as time or money that is allowed because of a rule, law, or decision.
usu with supp
The three month time limit will be up in mid-June..., The economic affairs minister announced limits on petrol sales.
3 n-count The limit of an area is its boundary or edge.
...the city limits of Baghdad.
4 n-plural Thelimitsof a situation are the facts involved in it which make only some actions or results possible.
usu N of n
She has to work within the limits of a fairly tight budget..., He outlined the limits of British power.
5 verb If you limit something, you prevent it from becoming greater than a particular amount or degree.
He limited payments on the country's foreign debt... V n
The view was that the economy would grow by 2.25 per cent. This would limit unemployment to around 2.5 million. V n to n
6 verb If you limityourself to something, or if someone or something limits you, the number of things that you have or do is reduced.
It is now accepted that men should limit themselves to 20 units of alcohol a week... V pron-refl to n/-ing
Voters cut councillors' pay and limited them to one staff member each. V n to n/-ing, Also V pron-refl
The conditions laid down to me were not too limiting.
7 verb If something is limitedto a particular place or group of people, it exists only in that place, or is had or done only by that group.
The protests were not limited to New York... be V-ed to n/-ing
Entry to this prize draw is limited to UK residents. be V-ed to n/-ing
9 If an area or a place is off limits, you are not allowed to go there.
off limits phrase v-link PHR, oft PHR to n
A one-mile area around the wreck is still off limits..., These establishments are off limits to ordinary citizens.
10 If someone is over the limit, they have drunk more alcohol than they are legally allowed to when driving a vehicle.
be over the limit phrase usu v-link PHR
If police breathalyse me and find I am over the limit I face a long ban...
11 If you say the sky is the limit, you mean that there is nothing to prevent someone or something from being very successful.
the sky is the limit phrase V inflects
They have found that, in terms of both salary and career success, the sky is the limit.
12 If you add within limits to a statement, you mean that it is true or applies only when talking about reasonable or normal situations.
within limits phrase PHR with cl
(=within reason) In the circumstances we'll tell you what we can, within limits, of course, and in confidence.
age limit ( age limits plural ) An age limit is the oldest or youngest age at which you are allowed under particular regulations to do something. n-count
In some cases there is a minimum age limit.
speed limit ( speed limits plural ) The speed limit on a road is the maximum speed at which you are legally allowed to drive. n-count usu the N
time limit ( time limits plural ) A time limit is a date before which a particular task must be completed. n-count
We have extended the time limit for claims until July 30.