“He wasn’t too polite to clearly delimit his personal space.”

What is the best definition of delimit?

Check your answer!

Choice A - To expand or extend the realm of
Choice B - To establish or fix the boundaries of
Choice C - To loosen or unbridle the state of
Choice D - To confine or restrict the movement of


Delimit (verb) – to establish or define the boundaries of; to measure or set physical bounds

GRE pro tips:

While you may have heard the more common words delineate and demarcate – meaning to set the boundaries or limits of – the GRE word delimit likely sounds less familiar. Nevertheless, it means the same thing, so don’t try to read anymore into it. [And don’t let the prefix de- throw you here. As you can see from these delimit synonyms, de- doesn’t always operate as it does in words like deconstruct or devalue.]  

When you delimit something, you establish or fix its physical boundaries. You can literally delimit something – such as your personal space – by placing a pillow between yourself and a movie-watching companion on date night. But you can also figuratively delimit something – such as your commitments and responsibilities  – perhaps to maintain a manageable schedule. 

Example sentences:

“In the Treaty of Paris, the British Crown formally ceded most of its territory east of the Mississippi to the Americans, thereby delimiting boundaries in the new nation.”

“It is crucial to monitor outbreaks of Lyme disease in ticks and delimit the exposure of humans while promptly administering post-exposure antibiotics to those exposed.”

“Whenever I fly, I make it a point to request an aisle seat and then I delimit my space with a firm plant of my elbow on the armrest.”