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Restricted; beyond the limits of what's acceptable or permissible. There was an old, run-down barn behind our house that was always off limits when we were kids—though we snuck into it more times than I can remember! The subject of the divorce is still off limits with Carol. She just doesn't want to discuss it with anyone.
1. If an area is off limits, you are not allowed to go there. The area was kept off limits to foreign journalists until early this year. The ideal is to have one room that's off limits for the kids.
2. If something is off limits, you are not allowed to have it or do it. Of course, smoking was off limits everywhere. Many of the biggest trees in those forests would soon be off limits to the timber industry.