confine

noun
con·​fine | \ ˈkän-ˌfīn also kən-ˈfīn \

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 \
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: Verb

cap, circumscribe, hold down, limit, restrict

Antonyms: Verb

exceed

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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

Whoever wants to demonstrate must do it within the confines of peace and freedom of expression. Almudena Calatrava, The Seattle Times, "Security concerns arise as Argentina hosts G-20," 27 Nov. 2018 This one, which originally ran on November 17, 2013, centers on a particular type of typing that would not go over well at Technicon (but does sound oh-so-satisfying within the confines of the home office). Iljitsch Van Beijnum, Ars Technica, "Why I use a 20-year-old IBM Model M keyboard," 8 Nov. 2018 Déraciné takes place almost entirely within the confines of a small boarding school. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Déraciné is a short, somber VR story from the creators of Dark Souls," 6 Nov. 2018 DeGeneres did as stellar a job as possible, but all Oscars hosts, no matter how great, are up against the confines of a bloated and largely boring telecast that refuses to change with the times. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Who Needs an Oscars Host Anyway?," 7 Dec. 2018 Being chased within the physical confines of The Haunted Trail by a chain saw carrying maniac is a fundamental part and inherent risk of this amusement. Randy Maniloff, WSJ, "But Your Honor, It Was Halloween!," 30 Oct. 2018 Participants endure months in cramped confines in analog missions at NASA’s facilities in Houston, as well as remote places like Antarctica, the floor of the Atlantic Ocean and atop a Hawaiian volcano. Stephen Ornes, Discover Magazine, "Want to be a Mars Astronaut? You'll Need the Proper Mindset," 16 Oct. 2018 Most of these spaceflight scenes are shot within the confines of the cockpits, which are claustrophobically confining. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘First Man’: Ryan Gosling is stellar as astronaut Neil Armstrong," 8 Oct. 2018 At the same time, riding the rails also offers a chance to live free, escaping the confines of conforming, small town life. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Door County theaters add stories and sparkle to summer nights," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Often referred to as the father of modern medicine, Osler insisted that students learn from seeing and talking to patients rather than being confined to lecture halls. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 Lee was apprehensive about leaning into angles too hard, worried that the interiors would have too many of them and confine how the space might function. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "Embracing nature—and minimalism—in North Carolina," 26 Nov. 2018 Can sharing these stories change a narrative that too often confines grief to private, lonely spaces? Kate Branch, Vogue, "How I Learned to Grieve the Loss of My Dad in the Age of Instagram," 6 Oct. 2018 In November, eight former park employees claimed the park was confining its animals to small, filthy enclosures, leaving medical problems untreated, and withholding food. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Monkey Jungle has reopened. Here is what has happened since the animal-abuse allegations.," 12 July 2018 But there are countless people living quietly and whose time in the criminal justice system is years in the past, but who, because of the ever-expanding tally of consequences for felony convictions, feel permanently confined. Campbell Robertson, New York Times, "Pardon Seekers Have a New Strategy in the Trump Era: ‘It’s Who You Know’," 12 July 2018 At Kentucky, Knox spent time confined into a spot-up role on the wing, which wound up being a positive thing for his growth and confidence. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "Rookie Report Cards: The Most Noteworthy Summer League Showings," 11 July 2018 State law prohibits pet owners from confining any animal in a motor vehicle during extreme heat or cold, according to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "On a sweltering day, a Boston cop made sure a black lab kept cool," 5 July 2018 Multisport athletes thrive There is plenty of evidence to support that players are better off confining their sport to its season and moving on to other activities the rest of the year. Craig Davis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Teen Tommy John surgeries, youth sports injuries reach epidemic proportions," 28 June 2018

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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Statistics for confine

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confine

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

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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 \
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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on confine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with confine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for confine

Spanish Central: Translation of confine

Nglish: Translation of confine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confine for Arabic Speakers

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