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

Even the home’s dusty confines are evocative of worlds and tragedies beyond Billie’s family. David Canfield, EW.com, "The Gone Dead is an atmospheric, eye-opening Southern thriller: EW review," 24 June 2019 Not around the foggy confines of China Basin, where the Giants are playing their best baseball in a full year. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants playing their best baseball in 12 months, take down first-place Brewers at home," 14 June 2019 The narrative shifts between the confines of the submarine, a knife-thin envelope of steel that keeps the men on top of each other (and at each others’ throats), and La Rochelle, where Simone is drawn into a shadowy espionage plot against the Nazis. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Das Boot," 14 June 2019 Perhaps the friendly confines spur a few triples from Quinn Cook or effective minutes from Jordan Bell on Thursday night. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Can the Splash Brothers Pull Off One More Oracle Classic?," 13 June 2019 There’s an implicit moment of personal connection that reaches beyond the professional confines of the drama—but the movie elides it. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Late Night,” Reviewed: Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling’s Incisive Comedy about the Gender Politics of TV," 6 June 2019 Finding solutions that worked within those confines proved insurmountable. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Colorado to pursue mandatory electric-vehicle standard after attempt to make it voluntary fails," 5 June 2019 Now, the dish that her mother taught her to make a decade ago, in the humble confines of their Kabul kitchen, was uniting a group of strangers — lawyers, social workers, artists. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Must Reads: At this L.A. supper club, refugees share food and memories of the lives they left behind," 31 May 2019 Meanwhile, dance music culture grew in secret outside of the confines of traditional venues. Simon Rust Lamb, Billboard, "How Organic Made History As Southern California's First Legitimate Dance Fest," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

She was confined to bed, then used a walker to get around. Doug Williams, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Walking is key to recovery for San Marcos woman," 9 July 2019 He was confined to a hospital bed, bobbing in and out of consciousness, face beaten beyond recognition, chest rising with breath only due to the ventilator tube snaked down his throat. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "He died after the family took him off life support. Then he walked through the door.," 14 June 2019 Both she and Spears (according to the #FreeBritney movement, that is) are confined to the expectations the world has for women in pop: to be affable, beautiful, likable, calm, and, above all, malleable. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "All Miley Cyrus' Black Mirror Episode Makes Me Think About Is Britney Spears," 6 June 2019 Over 1,600 of those acres are designated for beginners, and they're spread across the entire mountain, so you're not confined to one area. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "8 Great Places to Learn How to Ski If You've Never Been," 16 Feb. 2019 Nationwide, 70 percent of districts reported no incidents of having to restrict a student's ability to move freely or having to confine a student alone, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported. Dallas News, "Texas schools are underreporting when students are restrained, federal watchdog finds," 25 June 2019 The problem accessing the drug does not appear to be confined to Arizona. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "Cheaper insulin 'nowhere to be found' in Arizona, pharmacies and advocates say," 24 June 2019 But now, the most challenging elements of governing a small, racially divided Midwestern city are no longer likely to be confined to the distant background of Mr. Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. New York Times, "At Town Hall, Pete Buttigieg Confronts Tensions Around South Bend Police Shooting," 23 June 2019 Without the need to confine smaller electric engines beneath the wing, they could be located almost anywhere on a plane’s body along with multiple smaller fans to propel the plane forward. Michelle Z. Donahue, National Geographic, "What is turbulence—and how can you calm down about it?," 12 June 2019

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

12 Jul 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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