Meaning of CEILING in English


cei ‧ ling S3 W3 /ˈsiːlɪŋ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: ceil 'to provide with a ceiling' (16-20 centuries) , probably from Latin caelare 'to cut into a surface' ]

1 . the inner surface of the top part of a room ⇨ roof :

rooms with high ceilings

a light hanging from the ceiling

2 . the largest number or amount of something that is officially allowed

ceiling of

a public spending ceiling of £240 billion

impose/set/put a ceiling (on something)

The government imposed a ceiling on imports of foreign cars.

raise/lower the ceiling (on something)

3 . technical the greatest height an aircraft can fly at or the level of the clouds

⇨ ↑ glass ceiling

• • •


▪ limit the highest number, speed, temperature etc that is allowed by a law or rule:

He borrowed money up to the limit that the bank allowed.


The speed limit is 65 m.p.h.


There’s no limit on the amount of money that may be brought into the US.


Pollution levels are over the official limit.


Some families set limits on how much they spend on each other’s Christmas present.

▪ restrictions rules or laws that strictly control what you are allowed to do:

Travel restrictions might reduce the spread of the disease.


Unions are pressing for restrictions on steel imports from Japan.


Because of restrictions on reporting, newspapers were not allowed to cover the story.


New restrictions have been imposed on immigration.

▪ limitations limits on what a person or thing is able to do – used especially when you would like to be able to do more:

The president was unwilling to accept limitations on his power.


the limitations of the computer system


Hikers should know their physical limitations and not take unnecessary risks.

▪ constraints facts or conditions that limit what you can do, for example not having enough time, money etc:

Financial constraints are forcing many people in their twenties to live with their parents.


The last part of the show had to be cut because of time constraints.


The constraints of prison life are sometimes too much for people to bear.

▪ maximum the largest number or amount that is possible, normal, or allowed:

Classes have a maximum of twenty students.


What’s the maximum you can earn before you have to pay tax?

▪ minimum the smallest number or amount that is possible or allowed:

He was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison.


Our aim is to reduce the number of accidents to an absolute minimum.

▪ ceiling the largest number or amount of something that is officially allowed:

There is a ceiling on the amount of foreign investment.


Import quotas may rise from the present ceiling of 18.5 million to 20 million.


Congress was once again considering raising the federal debt ceiling.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.