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[awf-lim-its, of-] /ˈɔfˈlɪm ɪts, ˈɒf-/
forbidden to be patronized, frequented, used, etc., by certain persons:
The tavern is off-limits to soldiers.
Origin of off-limits
1950-55, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for off-limits
  • And it's the first reserve to place such a large area of open ocean off-limits to commercial fishing.
  • But cement and other building materials are still off-limits.
  • But benefits are no longer off-limits for colleges, according to the study.
  • Nelson is right that unpopular topics and opinions should not be off-limits for inquiry and comment.
  • One category of experiments should be off-limits for the time being, according to the report.
  • Expression is so limited that even certain colors are off-limits for personal use.
  • No musical genre seemed off-limits, from sambas to polkas to blues.
  • If these types of justifications continue, the implications are that any public area could be made off-limits.
  • Education helps, but there are some things that should be off-limits.
  • In so doing, it started out by declaring one third of the budget off-limits for spending cuts.
Word Origin and History for off-limits

"forbidden," by 1881, U.S. military academies jargon, from off (adv.) + limit (n.). Earlier (1857) it was applied to cadets, etc., who were in violation of the limitations on their movement and behavior.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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