con·​fine·​ment | \ kən-ˈfīn-mənt How to pronounce confinement (audio) \

Definition of confinement

: an act of confining : the state of being confined solitary confinement especially : lying-in

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Examples of confinement in a Sentence

The dog was kept in confinement until it was determined to be healthy. He remained with his wife during her confinement.

Recent Examples on the Web

During that time in a men's prison — a cruel yet common experience for many transgender inmates —, Manning was put in solitary confinement over a suicide attempt for 14 days. Marci Robin, Allure, "How to Support Incarcerated Trans People, Including Chelsea Manning," 31 Mar. 2019 Prosecutors asked Moody to sentence to six months in prison and six months home confinement, according to court documents, and give Szarmach a year and a day in prison. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Co-defendants of former Sheriff Buncich get probation for roles in bribery scheme," 9 July 2018 McCain endured barbaric torture and solitary confinement. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Mitch McConnell visits John McCain, tells him 'how much his friendship meant to me'," 15 May 2018 Manning, who’s now 31, spent a substantial amount of time in solitary confinement before her trial, in addition to years in prison afterwards. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Chelsea Manning Has Been Imprisoned for Resisting a Grand Jury Investigation. Here’s Why She Should Be Freed," 11 Mar. 2019 In 2016, President Obama cited Mr. Browder’s case while arguing to reduce the use of solitary confinement. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "NYC to Pay $3.3 Million to Family of Teen Who Languished at Rikers Island," 24 Jan. 2019 She had just been released from the for-profit Eloy Detention Center after 43 days of confinement. Danielle Campoamor, Teen Vogue, "ICE Detained This Outspoken Activist. Here's What She Had to Say the Day Before a Judge Ordered Her Deportation," 12 Dec. 2018 In 2001, with still a century of his 105-year sentence to serve, Dean says, he was sent to solitary confinement in an Atlanta prison. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "He agreed to write a killer’s story. Then a wild plot twist changed everything.," 12 Jan. 2018 The Associated Press reported Thursday that immigrants as young as 14 at the center said they were beaten, locked away in solitary confinement for long periods of time and left alone naked in cold cells. CBS News, "Some young immigrants at detention center cope through poetry," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confinement.' 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 confinement

1592, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for confinement

borrowed from Middle French, from confiner "to confine entry 2" + -ment -ment

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Statistics for confinement

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confinement

The first known use of confinement was in 1592

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More Definitions for confinement



English Language Learners Definition of confinement

: the act of confining someone or something : the state of being confined
old-fashioned : the time when a woman is giving birth to a baby


con·​fine·​ment | \ kən-ˈfīn-mənt How to pronounce confinement (audio) \

Medical Definition of confinement

: an act of confining : the state of being confined especially : lying-in



Legal Definition of confinement

1 : the act of confining
2 : the state of being confined

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Comments on confinement

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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