Definition of “limit” - English Dictionary

“limit” in British English

See all translations

limitnoun

uk /ˈlɪm.ɪt/ us /ˈlɪm.ɪt/

B1 [ C ] the greatest amount, number, or level of something that is either possible or allowed:

Is there a limit on the amount of money you can claim?
I think we ought to put a strict limit on the amount of time we can spend on the project.
There's a limit to the number of times I can stop what I'm doing just so I can help him!
We set a time limit of 30 minutes for the test.

[ U ] informal the amount of something that is enough and not too much:

Three cocktails are my limit.
I won't have any more - I know my limit!
the limit old-fashioned informal

something that is very annoying or not convenient:

And now you're cutting your toenails in bed! That really is the limit!

the largest amount of alcohol that is legally allowed to be present in the blood while a person is driving a vehicle:

She was definitely driving over the limit.
limits [ plural ]

limit:

I'd like to play squash, but I'm 60 and I know my limits.
His genius knows no limits.
The pay rise was in excess of spending limits imposed/set by the government.

More examples

Idiom(s)

limitverb [ T ]

uk /ˈlɪm.ɪt/ us /ˈlɪm.ɪt/

B2 to control something so that it is not greater than a particular amount, number, or level:

I've been asked to limit my speech to ten minutes maximum.
Having so little money to spend on an apartment does limit you in your choice.

More examples

(Definition of “limit” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“limit” in American English

See all translations

limitnoun [ C ]

us /ˈlɪm·ɪt/

the greatest amount, number, or level allowed or possible:

There’s a limit to her patience.
Two cups of coffee are my limit.
Spending limits were imposed by the mayor.

limitverb [ T ]

us /ˈlɪm·ɪt/

to control something so that it is not greater than a particular amount, number, or level:

I have to limit my talk to 20 minutes.

(Definition of “limit” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“limit” in Business English

See all translations

limitnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈlɪmɪt/ us

the greatest amount, number, or level that is possible or allowed:

beyond/over/outside the limit Am I over the limit on the amount of money I can claim?
below/within/under the limit Wages accounted for 57% of turnover - just under the 60% limit recommended by industry experts.
a limit to sth There's a limit to the number of times I can stop what I'm doing just so I can help him!
a limit on sth I think we ought to put a strict limit on the amount of time we can spend on the project.
impose/place/set a limit We set a time limit of thirty minutes for the test.
stretch/push the limit

limitverb [ T ]

uk /ˈlɪmɪt/ us

to control something so that it is not more than a particular amount, number, or level:

limit damage/liability This change can help to limit environmental damage.
limit the effectiveness/usefulness of sth Farmers cover coca leaves with substances that limit the effectiveness of the herbicide spray.
limit sth's scope Regulations limit their scope to activities of a commercial nature carried out in other countries.
limit sth to sth I've been asked to limit my speech to ten minutes maximum.

to control the amount of something or the type of thing that a person or organization can have:

limit sb to sth Having so little money to spend on a car does limit you to an older used model.
The city's economy limits the poor to menial service jobs.
limit yourself to sth Older investors do not have to limit themselves to corporate bonds.
be limited to sb/sth

to be only available to a particular person or group or to only affect a particular person or group:

Coupons for a 15% discount will be limited to the first 1000 people to visit the site.
An outbreak of flu was limited to people who travelled in the winter months.

(Definition of “limit” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)