Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit.
  • transitive v. To shut or keep in, especially to imprison.
  • transitive v. To restrict in movement: The sick child was confined to bed.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To border.
  • n. The limits of a space or area; the borders: within the confines of one county.
  • n. Restraining elements: wanted to escape the confines of corporate politics.
  • n. Purview; scope: a theory that is well within the confines of science.
  • n. Archaic A restriction.
  • n. Obsolete A prison.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To restrict; to keep within bounds; to shut or keep in a limited space or area
  • n. Limit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To restrain within limits; to restrict; to limit; to bound; to shut up; to inclose; to keep close.
  • intransitive v. To have a common boundary; to border; to lie contiguous; to touch; -- followed by on or with.
  • n. Common boundary; border; limit; -- used chiefly in the plural.
  • n. Apartment; place of restraint; prison.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bordering; having a common boundary; adjacent; contiguous.
  • n. A boundary-line or limit; bound; border; precinct.
  • n. That part of a territory which is at or near the border; the frontier: used generally in the plural, and often figuratively: as, the confines of France or of Scotland.
  • n. Territory; region; district.
  • n. An inhabitant of a contiguous district; a neighbor.
  • n. A place of confinement; a prison.
  • n. In geom. of n-dimensions, that which corresponds to a closed volume in three dimensions.
  • To have a common boundary; border; abut; be in contact: followed by on or with.
  • To restrict within bounds; limit; inclose; bound; hence, imprison; immure; shut up.
  • Synonyms To bound, circumscribe, restrict, incarcerate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. close in
  • v. deprive of freedom; take into confinement
  • v. restrict or confine,
  • v. to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement
  • v. place limits on (extent or access)
  • v. prevent from leaving or from being removed

Etymologies

French confiner, from Old French, from confins, boundaries, ultimately from Latin cōnfīne, from neuter of cōnfīnis, adjoining : com-, com- + fīnis, border.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • That a man should lay down his life for his friend seems strange to vulgar affections and such as confine themselves within that worldly principle, “Charity begins at home.”

    Religio Medici

  • Indeed, it is nowadays oddly daring for a real artistic talent (that is, one properly attentive to considerations of language and truthfulness) to "confine" itself to this task.

    New Fiction

  • Friend, seems strange to vulgar affections, and such as confine themselves within that Worldly principle, Charity begins at home.

    Religio Medici

  • That a man should lay down his life for his Friend, seems strange to vulgar affections, and such as confine themselves within that Worldly principle, Charity begins at home.

    The Second Part

  • He is every flabby inch the ramshackle roisterer, who announces the keynote of his unbuttoned, spilling-over performance in his spluttering rejection of the notion that he "confine"

    The Guardian World News

  • He is correct in the assumption that the idea is to "confine" cyclists to their lane.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Calculations were based on the primary structural frame in both cases: HabiTek's post-and-beam steel frame; and for CMC, the concrete columns and beams used to "confine" masonry.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • I thought we were doing quite well when we managed to reduce the whole house clutter to 2 bedrooms 'worth (or was it' confine 'rather than' reduce '?) … … Either way, I appreciate you more each time I read your blog, and extend thanks that you are so willing to share your life insights and experience.

    The Cottage Smallholder

  • Both the method of construction and the distribution of the load "confine" the masonry, so that even if walls are damaged, they are far more likely to remain in place.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • That a man should lay down his life for his friend seems strange to vulgar affections and such as confine themselves within that worldly principle, "Charity begins at home."

    Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend

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