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 Research on people in prison and solitary confinement offers lessons that deep-space astronauts could learn from. TheWeek, "How to optimize your headspace on a mission to Mars," 22 Feb. 2020 Wilson, Levy and Allen were all arrested just days later on charges of battery and criminal confinement. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Three more arrests, new charges filed in Kokomo homicide and kidnapping case," 17 Feb. 2020 Smith said in an e-mail to the Associated Press on Friday, two days into a 14-day confinement. Carla K. Johnson,, "Home quarantine for travelers buys time as new virus spreads," 16 Feb. 2020 The study methods themselves—taking blood samples, marking, handling, confinement—can mask or amplify the effects of the catch. Popular Science, "Releasing a caught fish isn’t as simple as tossing it overboard," 11 Feb. 2020 One elephant presses its head into the corner of its prison-like confinement. David Mckenzie And Brent Swails, CNN, "Young elephants were taken from their mothers in Zimbabwe. Now they're in cages in China," 24 Nov. 2019 Their enrollment – or confinement, depending on the arrangement or their perspective – can prevent these relatively privileged kids from joining the 48,000 youth caught in the U.S. juvenile justice system. Heather E. Mooney, The Conversation, "Why it’s unclear whether private programs for ‘troubled teens’ are working," 27 Jan. 2020 Looking out the small window of that blind at the same diminutive patch of Nebraska felt like solitary confinement to me. Outdoor Life, "Hunting with the Lupo, Benelli’s New Bolt-Action Rifle," 21 Jan. 2020 Kurtz pleaded guilty to molesting the child and was placed on probation, ordered to live in confinement at a Missouri retreat for wayward priests. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Code of silence reigns amid scandals, misbehavior at all-boys Catholic schools," 2 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for confinement

Time Traveler

The first known use of confinement was in 1592

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Statistics for confinement

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confinement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for confinement


How to pronounce confinement (audio)

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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