“Including, But Not Limited To” – Its Meaning, Origin & Usage

What does the word ‘include but not limited to mean? How did it come into being? These questions and more are answered below.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines include as “to bring or add (something) within the scope of something else”.

The term was originally used in legal documents to describe who would be covered under certain conditions. For example, if someone buys a house from you, then he/she becomes included in the ownership of the property.

But has also been used in other contexts such as politics, science, and literature. In these areas, the word means something slightly different.

The Meaning Of The Phrase “Including, But Not Limited To”

The phrase “in including but not limited to” has been around since the early days of English. In fact, it appears in Shakespeare’s plays and poems.

However, the meaning of the phrase changed over time. Today, it refers to a list of items that are not exclusive.

For example, you might say “the alphabet includes but is not limited to the letters A B, and C.” This means that there could be other letters in addition to those three listed.

The phrase “but not limited to” is usually used to refer specifically to different things or elements that are part of a group of similar things or elements.

For example, you might say that something is “not limited to” a certain type of food, such as pizza. Or you could use it to describe a range of products, like “not limited to” cars, computers, and cell phones.

In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary says that the phrase “but not limited” is most commonly used to mean “in addition to,” “as well as,” or “also.”

But the OED does not have one instance where it meant “limited to” — in reference to a specific set of people, places, or things. So, what exactly do we mean when we say “but not limited to”?

Examples Of The Phrase “Including, But Not Limited To”

The following example sentences contain examples of “including, but not limited to”. 

1. We bought a house in Florida including but not limited to a pool, tennis courts, and a basketball court.

1. I am including but not limited to my favorite foods.

2. We include but are not limited to our best customers.

3. She includes but is not limited to her family members.

4. They included but not be limited to their children.

5. You should include, but not be limited to, your parent’s house.

Other Ways To Say “Including, But Not Limited To”

The first example is about a meeting between two people.

Person 1: “I am here to discuss our relationship.”

Person 2: “And I want you to know that I include but do not limit myself to listening, nodding, smiling, and shaking hands.”

The second example is about a contract.

Person 1: “Here is the contract. Sign it, please.”

Person 2: “Thanks, including but not limiting yourself to signing, is one of my favorite things to do.”

Origins of “Including, But Not Limited To”

This expression originated in contracts, where people wanted to make sure that they did not exclude anything else.

They used the phrase “in including but not limited to” because it meant that they didn’t want to limit what they wrote about.

But not limited to is commonly found in contracts and legal documents. It is used to indicate that something is included in a contract, but it does not mean that everything mentioned is required.

This is because some clauses are optional while others are obligatory.

For example, you might include a warranty about the quality of goods sold in a contract, but you don’t want to mention that the seller must provide free shipping. You can use the word including without limiting yourself to what follows.

For example, here is how one particular contractual clause could be written:

The following terms apply to all sales transactions entered into under this agreement, except where otherwise indicated.

This is just one way to write a clause that includes all the items listed but doesn’t limit itself to those items.

Final Thoughts

If you’re writing a contract or legal document, you may need to include some phrases like “in including but not limited to”, “except as noted”, or “unless otherwise stated”. 

You can also use these phrases when talking with someone who has asked for an explanation of a term in a contract or legal document. In this case, you would probably say “include but not limited to” instead of “include”.

If you have any questions about the phrase “in including, but not limited to”, we hope that this article will help you.