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Synonym Chooser

How is the word confine different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of confine are circumscribe, limit, and restrict. While all these words mean "to set bounds for," confine suggests severe restraint and a resulting cramping, fettering, or hampering.

our choices were confined by finances

When is it sensible to use circumscribe instead of confine?

The words circumscribe and confine are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, circumscribe stresses a restriction on all sides and by clearly defined boundaries.

the work of the investigating committee was carefully circumscribed

When might limit be a better fit than confine?

The words limit and confine can be used in similar contexts, but 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

When is restrict a more appropriate choice than confine?

The meanings of restrict and confine largely overlap; however, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near confine

Cite this Entry

“Confine.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

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