circumscribe

To circumscribe is to limit or restrict. If you spend too much time watching TV instead of fulfilling other obligations, you might circumscribe your TV-watching time to one hour daily (or two hours, if your favorite show is on).

Circumscribe comes from the Latin words circum, meaning "around," and scribere, meaning "to write." If the word circumscribe causes you to think of geometry class, give yourself a pat on the back. In geometry, circumscribe means to draw one geometric figure around another figure so that the two figures touch but don’t intersect. If you studied geometry but this sounds unfamiliar, perhaps you should have taken our advice about watching too much TV.

Primary Meanings of circumscribe

1.
v
draw a geometric figure around another figure so that the two are in contact but do not intersect
2.
v
restrict or confine, "I limit you to two visits to the pub a day"
Full Definitions of circumscribe
1

v draw a geometric figure around another figure so that the two are in contact but do not intersect

Type of:
delineate, describe, draw, line, trace
make a mark or lines on a surface

v draw a line around

Type of:
delineate, describe, draw, line, trace
make a mark or lines on a surface
2

v restrict or confine, "I limit you to two visits to the pub a day"

Synonyms:
confine, limit
Types:
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hold down
restrain
keep down, number
place a limit on the number of
cap
restrict the number or amount of
curb, curtail, cut back, restrict
place restrictions on
delimit, delimitate, demarcate
set, mark, or draw the boundaries of something
content
satisfy in a limited way
ration
restrict the consumption of a relatively scarce commodity, as during war
abridge
lessen, diminish, or curtail
immobilise, immobilize
cause to be unable to move
Type of:
decrease, lessen, minify
make smaller

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