Definition of limitation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌlɪmɪˈteɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌlɪmɪˈteɪʃn//
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  1. 1[uncountable] the act or process of limiting or controlling somebody/something synonym restriction They would resist any limitation of their powers. Synonymslimitrestriction control constraint restraint limitationThese are all words for something that limits what you can do or what can happen.limit the greatest or smallest amount of something that is allowed:The EU has set strict limits on pollution levels. the speed limitrestriction (rather formal) a rule or law that limits what you can do:There are no restrictions on the amount of money you can withdraw.control (often in compounds) the act of limiting or managing something; a method of doing this:arms controlconstraint (rather formal) a fact or decision that limits what you can do:We have to work within severe constraints of time and money.restraint (rather formal) a decision, a rule, an idea, etc. that limits what you can do; the act of limiting something because it is necessary or sensible to do so:The government has imposed export restraints on some products. The unions are unlikely to accept any sort of wage restraint.limitation the act or process of limiting something; a rule, fact or condition that limits something:They would resist any limitation of their powers.restriction, constraint, restraint or limitation? These are all things that limit what you can do. A restriction is rule or law that is made by somebody in authority. A constraint is something that exists rather than something that is made, although it may exist as a result of somebody’s decision. A restraint is also something that exists: it can exist outside yourself, as the result of somebody else’s decision; but it can also exist inside you, as a fear of what other people may think or as your own feeling about what is acceptable:moral/​social/​cultural restraints. A limitation is more general and can be a rule that somebody makes or a fact or condition that exists.Patterns limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints/​limitations on something limits/​limitations to something severe limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints/​limitations tight limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints to impose/​remove limits/​restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints/​limitations to lift restrictions/​controls/​constraints/​restraints see also damage limitation
  2. 2[countable] limitation (on something) a rule, fact or condition that limits something synonym curb, restraint to impose limitations on imports Disability is a physical limitation on your life. see also statute of limitations
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] a limit on what somebody/something can do or how good they or it can be This technique is useful but it has its limitations. She has serious limitations as a poet. He was well aware of his own limitations.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin limitatio(n-), from the verb limitare, from limes.Extra examples Because of space limitations, I can only discuss the first and second points here. Further research should address these limitations. It’s a useful book despite its limitations. Our findings illustrate the limitations of this treatment. Our rational thinking has natural limitations. Please don’t ask me to sing—I know my limitations! Several limitations were identified in this study. She has serious limitations as a mother. The team’s technical limitations were exposed by the Italians. There should be no limitations to progress in the talks. This is a deliberate self-imposed limitation. We face considerable limitations on our capacity to assess and analyze this. We’ve put some limitations on who and where they can purchase these. You just have to accept your limitations. a limitation of your personal freedom an exercise in damage limitation another potential limitation of the study human potential and human limitations limitations on one’s freedom of action talks on arms limitation the methodological limitations of his research the obvious limitations of the technology Despite its limitations, the study has highlighted some interesting issues. The government has imposed certain limitations on imports. The limitations of this teaching approach are not always immediately obvious. This technique is useful but it has its limitations.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: limitation