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Delimitation vs. Limitation — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on October 23, 2023
"Delimitation" refers to the process of setting boundaries, while "Limitation" denotes a restriction or a constraint on capability.
Delimitation vs. Limitation — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Delimitation and Limitation


Key Differences

"Delimitation" and "Limitation" are both concerned with bounds or borders, but they have distinct nuances. "Delimitation" involves defining or marking boundaries, while "Limitation" pertains to the restrictions or shortcomings associated with something.
For instance, "Delimitation" is often used in contexts like geography, where boundaries between territories or countries are set. "Limitation," on the other hand, would describe constraints, like the limitation of resources or time.
"Delimitation" carries a proactive connotation of establishing borders or defining scope. For example, the delimitation of a study defines its extent and reach. Meanwhile, "Limitation" might highlight the inherent weaknesses or restrictions of that study, like limited sample size or scope.
In a project, "Delimitation" might determine the project's scope or the tasks involved. On the other hand, "Limitation" would address the project's constraints, be it budgetary, time-bound, or resource-related.
Both terms play a crucial role in understanding the scope and constraints of any endeavor. "Delimitation" gives a sense of direction and focus, while "Limitation" provides a realistic view of potential challenges.

Comparison Chart

Basic Definition

Setting boundaries
Imposing restrictions


Proactive, defining
Inherent weakness or constraint

Common Contexts

Geography, scope of work
Constraints, weaknesses, shortcomings

Associative Action

Establishing, defining
Restricting, constraining


Delimitation of a territory
Limitation in resources

Compare with Definitions


Differentiating between areas or sections.
Proper delimitation ensures efficient land use.


A legal restriction.
There's a limitation on how long one can claim the property.


Establishing distinct limits.
The river serves as a natural delimitation between the two regions.


An impediment or obstacle.
Time was the main limitation for the project's completion.


Marking or demarcating borders.
The delimitation process resolved the territorial dispute.


A defined boundary of capability.
The speed limitation of this car is 120 mph.


Defining scope or extent.
The delimitation of the project was crucial for its success.


The act of limiting or the state of being limited
He was very successful in his limitation of salt intake.


Setting clear boundaries.
The delimitation of the park ensures no trespassing.


A limiting rule or condition; a restriction
Are there any limitations on the agreement?.


To establish the limits or boundaries of; demarcate.


A shortcoming or defect
We need to overcome our limitations if we want to succeed.


The act of delimiting something.


(Law) A period established by statute during which a lawsuit or criminal prosecution must be initiated.


A limit or boundary.


The act of limiting or the state of being limited.


The act or process of fixing limits or boundaries; limitation.


A restriction; a boundary, real or metaphorical, caused by some thing or some circumstance.
Getting into his wheelchair after his amputation, it felt like a limitation you could roll in.
He understood the exam material, but his fear was a limitation he could not overcome.


A line that indicates a boundary


An imperfection or shortcoming that limits something's use or value.


(law) A time period after which some legal action may no longer be brought.
The lawyer obtained impunity by dragging his obviously guilty client's case beyond the ten-year limitation.


The act of limiting; the state or condition of being limited; as, the limitation of his authority was approved by the council.
They had no right to mistake the limitation . . . of their own faculties, for an inherent limitation of the possible modes of existence in the universe.


That which limits; a restriction; a qualification; a restraining condition, defining circumstance, or qualifying conception; as, limitations of thought.
The cause of error is ignorance what restraints and limitations all principles have in regard of the matter whereunto they are applicable.


A certain precinct within which friars were allowed to beg, or exercise their functions; also, the time during which they were permitted to exercise their functions in such a district.


A limited time within or during which something is to be done.
You have stood your limitation, and the tribunesEndue you with the people's voice.


A certain period limited by statute after which the claimant shall not enforce his claims by suit.


A principle that limits the extent of something;
I am willing to accept certain restrictions on my movements


The quality of being limited or restricted;
It is a good plan but it has serious limitations


The greatest amount of something that is possible or allowed;
There are limits on the amount you can bet
It is growing rapidly with no limitation in sight


(law) a time period after which suits cannot be brought;
Statute of limitations


An act of limiting or restricting (as by regulation)


A restriction or constraint.
The only limitation is our imagination.


An inherent weakness.
The software's limitation is its compatibility issue.

Common Curiosities

Is "limitation" synonymous with "restriction"?

Yes, both words often denote constraints or bounds.

Does "delimitation" imply a proactive setting of boundaries?

Yes, it involves actively defining or marking boundaries.

Can "delimitation" refer to non-physical boundaries?

Yes, like the delimitation of responsibilities in a role.

How does "delimitation" relate to scope in a project?

Delimitation defines the extent, boundaries, or focus of the project.

Can "limitation" be used in the context of abilities?

Yes, like "His only limitation is his fear."

Does "delimitation" only refer to physical boundaries?

No, it can also mean defining the scope or extent of non-physical things.

Is "limitation" always negative?

Not always, but it often points to constraints or restrictions.

Can "delimitation" be used in legal contexts?

Yes, like delimitation of rights or jurisdiction areas.

Can "limitation" indicate potential?

It usually indicates the upper bound or constraint on potential.

Is "delimitation" often used in territorial contexts?

Yes, like in delimiting territorial waters or boundaries.

Can "limitation" refer to a time constraint?

Yes, as in "The project's time limitation is three months."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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