confine

noun
con·​fine | \ ˈkän-ˌfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) also kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \

Definition of confine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 confines plural
a : something (such as borders or walls) that encloses outside the confines of the office or hospital— W. A. Nolen also : something that restrains escape from the confines of soot and clutter — E. S. Muskie
b : scope sense 3 work within the confines of a small group— Frank Newman
2a archaic : restriction
b obsolete : prison

confine

verb
con·​fine | \ kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \
confined; confining

Definition of confine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to hold within a location Dikes confined the floodwaters.
b : imprison
2 : to keep within limits will confine my remarks to one subject

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Other Words from confine

Verb

confiner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for confine

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for confine

Verb

limit, restrict, circumscribe, confine mean to set bounds for. limit implies setting a point or line (as in time, space, speed, or degree) beyond which something cannot or is not permitted to go. visits are limited to 30 minutes restrict suggests a narrowing or tightening or restraining within or as if within an encircling boundary. laws intended to restrict the freedom of the press circumscribe stresses a restriction on all sides and by clearly defined boundaries. the work of the investigating committee was carefully circumscribed confine suggests severe restraint and a resulting cramping, fettering, or hampering. our choices were confined by finances

Examples of confine in a Sentence

Verb will confine my remarks to the subject we came here to discuss the accused was confined until the trial could take place
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And that's assuming the world's nations keep a promise made in 2015 and confine global heating to no more than 2°C above the average maintained for most of human history. Star Tribune, "The Arctic Freezer Arrives In Time For The Weekend," 4 Feb. 2021 But even then, home can become a haven and a confine. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: As coronavirus cases grow, so does loneliness," 28 Dec. 2020 Tucked in amid the almond groves and vegetable fields are vast dairy operations that confine cows together by the thousands and produce more than a fifth of the nation’s milk supply, more than any other state. Tom Philpott, Wired, "The Biblical Flood That Will Drown California," 29 Aug. 2020 The order said law enforcement cannot detain, arrest or confine anyone who does not wear a mask but can issue fines of up to $250 if someone first ignores a verbal or written warning. Fox News, "Texas sheriffs refuse to enforce governor's mask mandate despite surge in coronavirus cases," 10 July 2020 Furthermore, the use of tear gas has forced protesters to cough, which also increases the risk of potential spread, and arrested protesters who police confine in close quarters also are at greater risk. oregonlive, "Cities across the nation are offering protesters free coronavirus tests. Portland and Oregon aren’t.," 11 June 2020 Rapp did not confine activities to aircraft and music. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Steven Rapp, lost to COVID-19, was Greenwood’s Renaissance man," 5 June 2020 For those under self-quarantine in the confines of their home, here are some do's and don'ts amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Julia Thompson, USA TODAY, "States are reopening, but many require travelers to self-quarantine. Here's where," 25 May 2020 Coronavirus has so pervasively damaged our life, but its way of killing remains so often hidden in the confines of ICUs, where only valiant healthcare workers see the trauma. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Bolsonaro calls coronavirus a 'little flu.' Inside Brazil's hospitals, doctors know the horrifying reality," 23 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So, the antibodies, whether given as preventive or treatment, appear to largely confine the infection to the nose. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Monoclonal antibodies can prevent COVID-19—but successful vaccines complicate their future," 22 Jan. 2021 The safest way to celebrate the holiday is to confine gatherings to nuclear family only, Dobbs said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Vaccine freezer, Christmas cheer, Iditarod trail switch: News from around our 50 states," 24 Dec. 2020 And, like essential workers, they’ve been disproportionately infected when the virus begins circulating within the walls that confine them. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, "Haves vs. have-nots: Who ‘deserves’ to be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine?," 19 Dec. 2020 But its incredible noise led regulators to confine it to overseas trips. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "Chuck Yeager's 1947 Flight Inspired Our Supersonic Ambitions," 8 Dec. 2020 Walz on Monday said there is anecdotal evidence across Minnesota that people did comply with the order and confine their holiday celebrations to small groups. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "22 COVID-19 deaths, 3,570 new infections reported in Minnesota," 1 Dec. 2020 In France, curfews will confine people to their homes. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Fury Over New Covid Lockdowns in Europe Threatens Compliance," 29 Oct. 2020 President Emmanuel Macron will confine residents of nine of the country’s biggest cities to their homes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for four weeks starting on Saturday. Bloomberg.com, "U.K., France Impose Curbs; Midwest Cases Rise: Virus Update," 14 Oct. 2020 Facebook's alternative is for researchers to confine their research to those ads and other data that the company chooses to share with them directly, while promising that this data will be comprehensive and reliable. Cory Doctorow, Wired, "Facebook Is Going After Its Critics in the Name of Privacy," 20 Nov. 2020

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1523, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for confine

Noun

Middle English confynyes, borrowed from Latin confīnia, plural of confīnium "common boundary, limit, border," from confīnis "having a common boundary" (from con- con- + -fīnis, adjective derivative of fīnis "boundary, limit, ending") + -ium, suffix of compounded nouns — more at final entry 1

Verb

borrowed from Middle French confiner "to be adjacent, restrain within limits," probably borrowed from Italian confinare, derivative of confine "boundary line, limit," noun derivative from neuter of Latin confīnis "having a common boundary" — more at confine entry 1

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Time Traveler for confine

Time Traveler

The first known use of confine was in the 15th century

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Statistics for confine

Last Updated

14 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confine. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for confine

confine

verb

English Language Learners Definition of confine

: to keep (someone or something) within limits : to prevent (someone or something) from going beyond a particular limit, area, etc.
: to keep (a person or animal) in a place (such as a prison)
: to force or cause (someone) to stay in something (such as a bed or wheelchair)

confine

verb
con·​fine | \ kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \
confined; confining

Kids Definition of confine

1 : to keep within limits Her study of bears is confined to those in North America.
2 : to shut up : imprison
3 : to keep indoors She was confined by sickness.

Other Words from confine

confinement \ -​mənt \ noun

confine

transitive verb
con·​fine | \ kən-ˈfīn How to pronounce confine (audio) \
confined; confining

Medical Definition of confine

: to keep from leaving accustomed quarters (as one's room or bed) under pressure of infirmity, childbirth, or detention

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confine

transitive verb
con·​fine
confined; confining

Legal Definition of confine

: to hold within a location specifically : imprison

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Comments on confine

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