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 Allen noted that the federal injunction governing the jail’s virus controls makes no reference to the 23-hour-per-day cell confinement that has been in place at the jail since last April. Washington Post, "D.C. officials ignore growing pressure to end 23-hour covid lockdown at jail," 23 Apr. 2021 Vermont uses solitary-confinement cells for Covid-19 quarantine, but officials said the inmates sent there do not get the harsh treatment that solitary would usually entail. New York Times, "In Vermont, Isolating Inmates Kept Covid at Bay, but at a Price," 21 Apr. 2021 The American Civil Liberties Union and Juvenile Law Center sued the state in federal court over conditions at the juvenile prisons in 2017 on behalf of several youth inmates who challenged the use of solitary confinement and pepper spray. Scott Bauer, Star Tribune, "Report cites 'vast improvement' at Wisconsin juvenile prison," 20 Apr. 2021 Many lived in crowded dormitories, underwent ineffective treatments and experienced grim confinement. Sarah E. Ryan, Time, "History's Lesson for Activists Who Want to Defund the Police," 20 Apr. 2021 After that arrest, prosecutors had not requested his pretrial detention, but a magistrate judge still issued stringent pretrial release conditions, including location monitoring, home confinement and no firearm possessions. Grace Toohey,, "Ormond Beach Proud Boys leader ordered to jail while awaiting trial in Capitol riot conspiracy case," 19 Apr. 2021 Quarantine and home confinement led to a slide in fountain sales and a corresponding decline in demand for concentrates. Trefis Team, Forbes, "Here’s Why Keurig Dr Pepper Stock’s 80% Rally Is Not Surprising," 19 Apr. 2021 The actual straw purchasers received only 45 days and home confinement. Jay Caruso, Washington Examiner, "Reality check on gun control," 15 Apr. 2021 About 15 years ago, when the Humane Society first started its campaign to end confinement, about 3% of the U.S. egg industry was cage-free. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah eggs will be cage-free by 2025. Here’s why farmers lobbied for the law and why you’ll be paying more at the store.," 24 Mar. 2021

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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confinement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

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