con·​fined | \ kən-ˈfīnd How to pronounce confined (audio) \

Definition of confined

1 : kept within confines: such as
a : limited to a particular location confined to bed
b : held captive confined prisoners
2 : very small confined spaces a confined compartment
3 dated : undergoing childbirth In Scotland, the Countess of Athole, who was lying-in at Edinburgh Castle near the similarly confined Mary, Queen of Scots, is reported to have cast her own birth pangs onto a waiting-woman in the queen's chamber.— Michael Olmert

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of confined in a Sentence

She gets uncomfortable in confined spaces. confined citizens have basic rights under that nation's constitution

Recent Examples on the Web

Among other things there is a danger of a buildup of carbon dioxide in some of the more confined spaces. James Hookway, WSJ, "Difficult Decision Looms on Rescuing Thai Boys From Cave," 4 July 2018 Political alliances remain confined to speakers of the same language and no pan-Russian nationalism ever emerged. Nikita Lalwani, Washington Post, "When is nationalism a good thing? When it unites an ethnically diverse citizenry," 26 June 2018 That Netanyahu, Trump's most ardent supporter in dumping the JCPOA, was in Moscow the day before the attack signals many things -- not least the dangerous complexity of having so many powers at play in such a confined conflict. Nic Robertson, CNN, "The world is nervously watching as the gloves come off between Iran and Israel," 10 May 2018 The confined disposal facility is less than a mile away from Carrie Gosch Elementary and East Chicago Central High. Javonte Anderson, Post-Tribune, "East Chicago environmental activists to meet with Rep. Visclosky, talk sludge storage," 13 July 2017 Whoever is lucky enough to one day ride the rocket into space would be squeezed into a cramped and confined tube. Wired Staff, WIRED, "Video: Amateur Rocketeers Launch Suborbital Rocket," 7 June 2011 But the slow, steady expansion of coaching and training staffs over the years has only made the space feel more confined. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Welcome, Visitors. Squeeze Right In.," 9 Apr. 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of confined

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for confined

from past participle of confine entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about confined

Statistics for confined

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confined

The first known use of confined was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for confined



English Language Learners Definition of confined

of a space or area : very small


con·​fined | \ kən-ˈfīnd How to pronounce confined (audio) \

Medical Definition of confined

: undergoing childbirth

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on confined

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with confined

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for confined

Spanish Central: Translation of confined

Nglish: Translation of confined for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confined for Arabic Speakers

Comments on confined

What made you want to look up confined? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!