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1. To ensure something remains restricted to some specific thing, such as a topic or subject. A noun or pronoun is used between "limit" and "to." Please limit your questions to the international summit—no other topics will be discussed by the president today. I understand the direction you're trying to take, but I really think you should limit your dissertation to the Middle Ages.
2. To restrict or constrain something to a set or limited amount or number of something. A noun or pronoun is used between "limit" and "to." Try to limit your performance to two minutes, or else we won't be able to fit everyone in the show. I have to limit our expenditures to $500 for the whole time we're in Prague.
3. To restrict or constrain someone or oneself to a set or limited amount or number of something. A noun or pronoun is used between "limit" and "to." I'm starting off by limiting myself to 10 cigarettes a day, and then I'll start lowering that as I go along. The bank has limited us to $800 daily withdrawals until our credit rating improves.
4. To force someone or oneself to remain within a certain limited area. A noun or pronoun is used between "limit" and "to." Often used in passive constructions. Because of zoning regulations, planners were limited to an area no less than 3,000 feet away from any public roads to build the processing plant. The school limited us to a tiny area on the outskirts of the football field to hold our practices.
5. To restrict someone or oneself to focus on a specific topic, subject, idea, etc. A noun or pronoun is used between "limit" and "to." Often used in passive constructions. I just don't think you should limit yourself to math—why not try studying some other subjects? The boss limited us to discussing our previous product during the conference, keeping our current project under wraps.
to a limited extent
Somewhat; partly; in a limited way. Your essay would be improved to a limited extent by tidying up your paragraphs, but your topic on the whole has some fundamental problems. The administration is willing to negotiate to a limited extent, but it is not ready to make any significant changes to the legislation.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
limit someone to something
1. to restrict someone to a certain amount or number of something. I will have to limit you to two helpings of mashed potatoes. I limit myself to cola drinks only.
2. to restrict someone to a certain area. Please try to limit your children to your own yard. They limited themselves to the north side of town.
limit something to something
to restrict something to a limited set, a certain amount, or a specific number of something. Please limit your comments to five minutes. Can you limit your remarks to the subject at hand?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.