con·​fine·​ment | \kən-ˈfīn-mənt \

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

He was sentenced to five years of probation, including eight months in a community confinement center. Gray Rohrer,, "Ahead of Florida GOP summit speaking slot, Dinesh D’Souza gets Trump pardon," 31 May 2018 Reject challenges to capital punishment and solitary confinement. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 High-fence hunting is controversial even among hunters; many question the ethics of paying to shoot animals unable to escape confinement. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Wild pigs cause millions in damages in California. But hunting them could become easier," 25 June 2018 Not all the poems dwell on the bleakness of their journeys north and confinement since. CBS News, "Some young immigrants at detention center cope through poetry," 22 June 2018 Seven Hills School teacher Bryce Carlson Carlson believes rowing solo and unassisted across the North Atlantic will in some ways be like solitary confinement. Jeanne Houck,, "Local teacher could be first American to row across the North Atlantic solo," 14 June 2018 Judas broods and boozes, Pilate tends to a fern, and in general their infinite term of confinement to darkness pretty much wiles itself away. Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "The Book of Maggie follows an epic quest to preserve Armageddon," 24 May 2018 Some have been subjected to torture and solitary confinement for extended periods of times, according to multiple reports by rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Sarah El Sirgany, CNN, "Famous Egyptian blogger arrested in widening crackdown on dissent," 23 May 2018 And yet today, Moore, now 60, remains on death row, facing solitary confinement for more than 23 hours a day. Angela Helm, The Root, "Why Is Bobby Moore Still on Death Row, Despite a Recent Supreme Court Decision in His Favor?," 19 May 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

18 Nov 2018

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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

: the time when a woman is giving birth to a baby


con·​fine·​ment | \kən-ˈfīn-mənt \

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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