Difference Between Prohibited and Restricted

Main Difference – Prohibited vs. Restricted

Prohibited and Restricted are used in reference to limitations and prevention. However, they cannot be used interchangeably as there is a distinct difference between them. Prohibited is used when we are talking about an impossibility. Restricted is used when we are talking about something that has specific conditions. The main difference between prohibited and restricted is that prohibited means something is formally forbidden by law or authority whereas restricted means something is put under control or limits. 

What Does Prohibited Mean

Prohibited is a variant of the verb prohibit. Prohibited can be taken as the past tense and past participle of prohibiting as well as an adjective. Prohibited means that something is formally forbidden by law or authority. When we say ‘smoking is prohibited’, it means that smoking is not allowed at all, there are no exceptions. Prohibit indicates an impossibility. This gives out the idea that it is not at all possible under any condition or circumstance. The term Prohibited goods is used to refer to items that are not allowed to enter or exit certain countries. For example, the government of South America lists Narcotic and habit-forming drugs in any form, Poison and other toxic substances, Fully automatic, military and unnumbered weapons, explosives and fireworks as prohibited goods. The following sentences will further explain the use of prohibited.

Inter-racial marriages were not prohibited by the government.

He was proved guilty of using prohibited substances.

No one was allowed to enter the grounds; entry was prohibited.

Prohibited imports are the items that are not allowed to enter a country.Difference Between Prohibited and Restricted

What Does Restricted Mean

Restrict means to put under limits or control. Restricted can be either used as the past tense of restrict or as an adjective meaning limited. When we say something is restricted, it means that limits or conditions have been added to it. It does not mean that it is completely impossible.  For example, Restricted goods are allowed to enter or exit a country under certain circumstances. A written permission can help you to import or export that item. Likewise, a restricted area does not mean that people are not allowed to enter; it means that a special permission is required to enter the place. Restricted information refers to information that are not disclosed to the general public for security purposes.

The new regulations restricted the free movement of people.

The club was restricted to its members and their family members.

Only the highest military personnel had access to the restricted area.

American scientists had only restricted access to the area.Main difference - Prohibited vs Restricted

Difference Between Prohibited and Restricted


Prohibited means banned or forbidden.

Restricted means limited in  extent, number,  scope, or action


Prohibited means that there is no possibility of doing something.

Restricted means that something can be done under certain conditions.


Prohibited functions as an adjective derived from prohibit.

Restricted functions as an adjective derived from restrict.

Past tense

Prohibited is the past tense and past participle of prohibit.

Restricted is the past tense and past participle of restrict.

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