Share this entry
prohibitive Syllabification: pro·hib·i·tive
Pronunciation: /prəˈhibədiv/

Definition of prohibitive in English:


1(Of a price or charge) excessively high; difficult or impossible to pay: the costs involved were prohibitive prohibitive interest rates
More example sentences
  • Starks remains at the top of the team's list, but his asking price is prohibitive.
  • Despite the prohibitive price tag, there is no sign of a downturn at the top end of the property market with only 12 of the 27 houses still unsold.
  • Lack of availability of imported produce, coupled with prohibitive prices, dictate that cooks use what is available locally.
exorbitant, excessively high, sky-high, overinflated;
out of the question, beyond one's means;
extortionate, unreasonable
informal steep, criminal
2(Especially of a law or rule) forbidding or restricting something: prohibitive legislation
More example sentences
  • Indeed, in the case of certain drugs, the argument that the harms caused are not so great and the restrictions unduly limiting on lifestyle choices have made the prohibitive laws controversial and widely ignored.
  • No company continues with its practices if bad publicity occurs, or prohibitive laws or tax regimes are enacted, or shareholders sell up, or investors say stop.
  • As late as 1971 there was a prohibitive law making the opening of supermarkets and hypermarkets dependent on the issue of three different types of licence and the approval of two distinct levels of government.
proscriptive, prohibitory, restrictive, repressive
2.1(Of a condition or situation) preventing someone from doing something: a wind over force 5 is prohibitive
More example sentences
  • I try to do some exercises for my back before the temperature becomes too prohibitive.
  • Beyond that, the amount of energy required becomes too prohibitive.
  • If chiropractic care were as dangerous as he would have us believe, malpractice premium costs would make practice prohibitive.




Late Middle English (sense 2): from French prohibitif, -ive or Latin prohibitivus, from prohibit- 'kept in check', from the verb prohibere (see prohibit).

Definition of prohibitive in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources