Definition of non-restrictive in English:

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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).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: non-restrict¦ive

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