[lim.it] n [ME, fr. MF limite, fr. L limit-, limes boundary] (14c) 1 a: something that bounds, restrains, or confines b: the utmost extent
2. a: a geographical or political boundary b pl: the place enclosed within a boundary: bounds
4: a determining feature or differentia in logic
5: a prescribed maximum or minimum amount, quantity, or number: as a: the maximum quantity of game or fish that may be taken legally in a specified period b: a maximum established for a gambling bet, raise, or payoff
6. a: a number whose numerical difference from a mathematical function is arbitrarily small for all values of the independent variables that are sufficiently close to but not equal to given prescribed numbers or that are sufficiently large positively or negatively b: a number that for an infinite sequence of numbers is such that ultimately each of the remaining terms of the sequence differs from this number by less than any given positive amount 7: something that is exasperating or intolerable -- lim.it.less adj -- lim.it.less.ly adv -- lim.it.less.ness n
limit vt (14c) 1: to assign certain limits to: prescribe "reserved the right to ~ use of the land"
2. a: to restrict the bounds or limits of "the specialist can no longer ~ himself to his specialty" b: to curtail or reduce in quantity or extent "we must ~ the power of aggressors" -- lim.it.able adj -- lim.it.er n syn limit, restrict, circumscribe, confine mean to set bounds for. limit implies setting a point or line (as in time, space, speed, or degree) beyond which something cannot or is not permitted to go "visits are limited to 30 minutes". restrict suggests a narrowing or tightening or restraining within or as if within an encircling boundary "laws intended to restrict the freedom of the press". circumscribe stresses a restriction on all sides and by clearly defined boundaries "the work of the investigating committee was carefully circumscribed". confine suggests severe restraint and a resulting cramping, fettering, or hampering "our freedom of choice was confined by finances".