confine

noun
con·​fine | \ ˈkän-ˌfīn also kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \

Definition of confine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 confines plural

a : something (such as borders or walls) that encloses outside the confines of the office or hospital— W. A. Nolen also : something that restrains escape from the confines of soot and clutter — E. S. Muskie
b : scope sense 3 work within the confines of a small group— Frank Newman
2a archaic : restriction
b obsolete : prison

confine

verb
con·​fine | \ kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \
confined; confining

Definition of confine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to hold within a location Dikes confined the floodwaters.
b : imprison
2 : to keep within limits will confine my remarks to one subject

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Other Words from confine

Verb

confiner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for confine

Synonyms: Verb

cap, circumscribe, hold down, limit, restrict

Antonyms: Verb

exceed

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Choose the Right Synonym for confine

Verb

limit, restrict, circumscribe, confine mean to set bounds for. limit implies setting a point or line (as in time, space, speed, or degree) beyond which something cannot or is not permitted to go. visits are limited to 30 minutes restrict suggests a narrowing or tightening or restraining within or as if within an encircling boundary. laws intended to restrict the freedom of the press circumscribe stresses a restriction on all sides and by clearly defined boundaries. the work of the investigating committee was carefully circumscribed confine suggests severe restraint and a resulting cramping, fettering, or hampering. our choices were confined by finances

Examples of confine in a Sentence

Verb

will confine my remarks to the subject we came here to discuss the accused was confined until the trial could take place

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The notion of clean or natural beauty products is ill-defined across the industry, but within the confines of Whole Foods, product quality standards are front and center. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Whole Foods' Annual Beauty Week Event Has Arrived and Every Product Is on Sale," 12 Mar. 2019 At the end of the day, what makes him so refreshing is his joie de vivre: Miller tosses gender confines to the wayside, stepping out in looks that are provocative, glamorous, and just plain ol’ fun. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Ezra Miller Makes the Case for Lipstick on Men," 27 Feb. 2019 In 1984, Mercury sold the property to the Kirchman Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group, ostensibly because Mercury’s racing program outgrew the confines of the three-mile lake. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Lake X: Mercury Marine's Secret Boat Testing Site," 27 Dec. 2018 Venturi and Brown managed to design one for BEST, a chain known for its abstract and sculptural stores, that was bold while staying within its core crass and commercialist confines. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Masterpieces of Robert Venturi, a postmodern architecture icon," 20 Sep. 2018 While some anti-Jewish riots still continued in Russia, Jews were able to leave their earlier confines with new protections against discrimination. Alexandra Bregman, WSJ, "When Chagall and Malevich Battled in Russia," 9 Aug. 2018 Just as Hong Kong benefited from the British legal system, so Dubai has imported British-style common law for the Dubai International Finance Centre, a city within a city where foreign lawyers adjudicate on business matters within its confines. The Economist, "Do buyHow Dubai became a model for free trade, openness and ambition," 21 June 2018 Krieps, especially, provides a subtle symphony of feeling, even as her role confines her to a prescribed range of narrative support. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Young Karl Marx' review: The man, the dialectic, the biopic, the legend," 21 June 2018 America’s first planetarium is setting sights on reaching astronomy buffs beyond its Lake Michigan confines. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "Adler Planetarium bringing telescopes to a library, park or taproom near you this summer," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Amnesty International, a human-rights group, says many women and girls have been raped in the camps and that hundreds if not thousands of people confined in them have died of starvation or a lack of medical care. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Some of the animals were confined in the basement with no fresh air. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "'Hobby breeder' made 108 animals live in feces in Washtenaw Co. home," 22 June 2018 Young Black Angus cattle graze freely, are never closely confined, nor given supplemental growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. Natasha Wolff, Town & Country, "The Best Mail-Order Beef and Butcher Shops Across America," 13 June 2018 MORE The Trump administration's push to ease regulations on private industry is no longer confined to Earth. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Trump's New Space Policy Directive 2 Could Make Life Easier for SpaceX and Others," 25 May 2018 Hernandez had spent nearly eight years of a 55-year sentence in state prison and most recently was confined in Cook County Jail. George Houde, Aurora Beacon-News, "After arrest is ruled illegal, Aurora man won't be retried in shooting death of ex-girlfriend," 14 Mar. 2018 There's an adorable portrait of Prince Charles holding Prince George on the day of his baptism, and until recently, it has been confined to a frame in Clarence House. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles Releases Never-Before-Seen Photo with Prince George at His Christening," 13 Nov. 2018 She's not confined by standards, or labels, or even the gender binary. Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Lauren Jauregui Doesn't Date According to the Gender Binary," 5 Sep. 2018 Breaking a bone is never fun, especially when you're confined to a cast for several months. Christina Oehler, Woman's Day, "Boy Wakes Up From Surgery and Has BEST REACTION EVER to New Cast," 8 June 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of confine

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1523, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for confine

Noun

Middle English confynyes, borrowed from Latin confīnia, plural of confīnium "common boundary, limit, border," from confīnis "having a common boundary" (from con- con- + -fīnis, adjective derivative of fīnis "boundary, limit, ending") + -ium, suffix of compounded nouns — more at final entry 1

Verb

borrowed from Middle French confiner "to be adjacent, restrain within limits," probably borrowed from Italian confinare, derivative of confine "boundary line, limit," noun derivative from neuter of Latin confīnis "having a common boundary" — more at confine entry 1

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Statistics for confine

Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for confine

The first known use of confine was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for confine

confine

verb

English Language Learners Definition of confine

: to keep (someone or something) within limits : to prevent (someone or something) from going beyond a particular limit, area, etc.
: to keep (a person or animal) in a place (such as a prison)
: to force or cause (someone) to stay in something (such as a bed or wheelchair)

confine

verb
con·​fine | \ kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \
confined; confining

Kids Definition of confine

1 : to keep within limits Her study of bears is confined to those in North America.
2 : to shut up : imprison
3 : to keep indoors She was confined by sickness.

Other Words from confine

confinement \ -​mənt \ noun

confine

transitive verb
con·​fine | \ kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \
confined; confining

Medical Definition of confine

: to keep from leaving accustomed quarters (as one's room or bed) under pressure of infirmity, childbirth, or detention

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confine

transitive verb
con·​fine
confined; confining

Legal Definition of confine

: to hold within a location specifically : imprison

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More from Merriam-Webster on confine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with confine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for confine

Spanish Central: Translation of confine

Nglish: Translation of confine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confine for Arabic Speakers

Comments on confine

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