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[kuh n-fahyn-muh nt] /kənˈfaɪn mənt/
the act of confining.
the state of being confined.
the lying-in of a woman in childbed; accouchement; childbirth.
Military. incarceration in a guardhouse or prison while awaiting trial or as a punishment (distinguished from arrest).
Origin of confinement
1640-50; confine + -ment; compare French confinement
Related forms
nonconfinement, noun
postconfinement, noun
preconfinement, noun
self-confinement, noun
semiconfinement, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for confinement
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was, in every room, an aged smell, grown faint with confinement.

    To be Read at Dusk Charles Dickens
  • It is impossible to say when I shall be able to come to you; my confinement must be great.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • All this I heard in my prison, and it served to reconcile me to the confinement.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • We were well treated, however, suffering no other confinement than that of the ship.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The next day, at noon, Calderon visited Fonseca in his place of confinement.

    Calderon The Courtier Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for confinement


the act of confining or the state of being confined
the period from the onset of labour to the birth of a child
(physics) another name for containment (sense 3)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for confinement

1590s, from French confinement (16c.; the Old French word was confinacion), from confiner (see confine). As a euphemism for "childbed" it dates from 1774 (the Middle English expression was Our Lady's bands).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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confinement in Medicine

confinement con·fine·ment (kən-fīn'mənt)

  1. The act of restricting or the state of being restricted in movement.

  2. Lying-in.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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