Definition of non-restrictive in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /nɒnrɪˈstrɪktɪv/


1Not involving restrictions or limitations.
Example sentences
  • There's been a general shift in publishing away from online pay-sites with restricted content to an increasingly non-restrictive approach.
  • Holland, though it has a non-restrictive abortion law and free abortions, has one of the lowest abortion rates in the world, far lower than many countries where abortion is illegal.
  • In 1997 the European Commission adopted a non-restrictive interpretation of this provision in relation to providing banking services cross-border.
2 Grammar (Of a relative clause or descriptive phrase) giving additional information about a noun phrase whose particular reference has already been specified.
Example sentences
  • A non-restrictive clause is one that does not serve to identify or define the antecedent noun.
  • The sentence ‘My uncle, who lives in Brazil, is coming to see us’ contains the non-restrictive relative clause ‘who lives in Brazil’.
  • The result is a non-restrictive relative clause in which the relative pronoun ‘whom’ is buried inside a recursively-embedded participial supplement.


On the use of restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses, see restrictive (usage).

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.