- restricting or tending to restrict; limiting: restrictive regulations
- Gram. designating a modifier, as a word, phrase, or subordinate clause, that limits the reference of the word or phrase it modifies and thus is essential to the meaning of a sentence: it is not set off by punctuation: “who laughed” in “the person who laughed is my friend” is a restrictive relative clause
Origin of restrictiveMiddle English from Middle French restrictif
- a. Of or relating to restriction.b. Tending or serving to restrict; limiting.
- Grammar Of, relating to, or being a subordinate clause or phrase that identifies the noun, phrase, or clause it modifies and limits or restricts its meaning, as the clause who live in glass houses in People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.