Including but not Limited to - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you reading through your employment contract? Chances are you're going to come across the phrase "including, but not limited to" somewhere in the paperwork. What does this statement mean, and how does it apply to the situation?

This post gives you everything you need to know about this idiomatic expression's meaning, origin, and use.


"Including but not limited to" is an idiomatic expression commonly occurring in contracts. The phrase means that the definition is applicable to examples cited and other uncited examples, which are similar in purpose and have a compatible match to the intent of the definition.

It's a way of explaining all the qualifying factors involved in a contractual agreement and its limitations in specific parameters. Typically, you'll be using this phrase in a professional setting. You might see the term appear in your employment contract when talking about your employee duties and responsibilities.

You may also see the phrase appear in contracts like signing bank agreements and taking on debt with lenders. The term doesn't have much use outside of the legal professional and contract law, and it rarely features in conversations between friends or colleagues.

Example Usage

"The vendor with this acknowledges all information relating to the bid and resulting orders (Including but not limited to contracts, fees, and prices)."

"Services (Including but not limited to plumbing, fire protection, HVAC, and electrical)."

"Including, but not limited to appliances and therapeutic devices."

"Including but not limited to, property damage, bodily injury, personal and contractual injuries with limits of no less than $200,000 per occurrence."

"Our services, including but not limited to, the removal of existing systems as indicated."


The origin of "including, but not limited to," comes from contractual writing. According to language experts, the phrase appeared in the early 1900s, after the Industrial Revolution was well underway.

As society started setting up companies and selling goods, the phrase would appear in contracts, advertisements, and other areas requiring legal assistance to explain the limitation on an offer.

Contracts form the set of rules and regulations surrounding everything from transactions to employment. The use of the phrase appears in contracts listing duties or items included with a transaction or a contractual arrangement between parties.

If we trace back the components of the phrase, we find that the word "include" has a Latin root, and "limit" also has Latin origins. However, as the French adopted the Latin language, they changed the use of the word before it eventually ended up in the English Language.

The phrase still has plenty of use today in its original format, and you probably see it appear on agreements and privacy policies when you're updating apps or software on your devices.

Phrases Similar to Including but not limited to

  • Unknown.

Phrases Opposite to Including but not limited to

  • Limited offer.
  • Limitations.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Including but not limited to.

Ways People May Say Including but not Limited to Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase in verbal conversation with friends, and they might not appreciate you using the statement due to its formality.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Including but not limited to

You can use the phrase "including but not limited to" when you're writing out procedures or other points of interest in contract law. If you own a store and you're planning a special offer, you would use the phrase to point out the caveats involved with consumers making their purchase. Usually, you'll be making the statement to add value to something.

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