(~s, ~ing, ~ed)
Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.
A ~ is the greatest amount, extent, or degree of something that is possible.
Her love for him was being tested to its ~s...
There is no ~ to how much fresh fruit you can eat in a day...
N-COUNT: usu sing, usu with supp
A ~ 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.
The three month time ~ will be up in mid-June...
The economic affairs minister announced ~s on petrol sales.
N-COUNT: usu with supp
The ~ of an area is its boundary or edge.
...the city ~s of Baghdad.
N-COUNT: with supp
The ~s of a situation are the facts involved in it which make only some actions or results possible.
She has to work within the ~s of a fairly tight budget...
He outlined the ~s of British power.
N-PLURAL: usu N of n
If you ~ something, you prevent it from becoming greater than a particular amount or degree.
He ~ed payments on the country’s foreign debt...
The view was that the economy would grow by 2.25 per cent. This would ~ unemployment to around 2.5 million.
VERB: V n, V n to n
If you ~ yourself to something, or if someone or something ~s you, the number of things that you have or do is reduced.
It is now accepted that men should ~ themselves to 20 units of alcohol a week...
Voters cut councillors’ pay and ~ed them to one staff member each.
VERB: V pron-refl to n/-ing, V n to n/-ing, also V pron-refl
The conditions laid down to me were not too ~ing.
If something is ~ed to 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 ~ed to New York...
Entry to this prize draw is ~ed to UK residents.
VERB: usu passive, be V-ed to n/-ing, be V-ed to n/-ing
see also age ~ , ~ed
If an area or a place is off ~s, you are not allowed to go there.
A one-mile area around the wreck is still off ~s...
These establishments are off ~s to ordinary citizens.
PHRASE: v-link PHR, oft PHR to n
If someone is over the ~, they have drunk more alcohol than they are legally allowed to when driving a vehicle. (BRIT)
If police breathalyse me and find I am over the ~ I face a long ban...
PHRASE: usu v-link PHR
If you say the sky is the ~, you mean that there is nothing to prevent someone or something from being very successful.
They have found that, in terms of both salary and career success, the sky is the ~.
PHRASE: V inflects
If you add within ~s to a statement, you mean that it is true or applies only when talking about reasonable or normal situations.
In the circumstances we’ll tell you what we can, within ~s, of course, and in confidence.
= within reason
PHRASE: PHR with cl