Synonyms & Antonyms of confine

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to set bounds or an upper limit for
  • will confine my remarks to the subject we came here to discuss

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2 to put in or as if in prison
  • the accused was confined until the trial could take place

Synonyms for confine

Words Related to confine

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Antonyms for confine



Synonyms of confine (Entry 2 of 2)

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Frequently Asked Questions About confine

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

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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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Cite this Entry

“Confine.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on confine

Nglish: Translation of confine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confine for Arabic Speakers


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