[kuh n-fahynd]


limited or restricted.
unable to leave a place because of illness, imprisonment, etc.
being in childbirth; being in parturition.

Origin of confined

Related formscon·fin·ed·ly [kuh n-fahy-nid-lee, -fahynd-lee] /kənˈfaɪ nɪd li, -ˈfaɪnd li/, adverbcon·fin·ed·ness, nounnon·con·fined, adjectivepre·con·fin·ed·ly, adverbun·con·fined, adjective


[kuhn-fahyn for 1, 2, 5, 6; kon-fahyn for 3, 4]

verb (used with object), con·fined, con·fin·ing.

to enclose within bounds; limit or restrict: She confined her remarks to errors in the report. Confine your efforts to finishing the book.
to shut or keep in; prevent from leaving a place because of imprisonment, illness, discipline, etc.: For that offense he was confined to quarters for 30 days.


Usually confines. a boundary or bound; limit; border; frontier.
Often confines. region; territory.
Archaic. confinement.
Obsolete. a place of confinement; prison.

Origin of confine

1350–1400 for noun; 1515–25 for v.; (noun) Middle English < Middle French confins, confines < Medieval Latin confinia, plural of Latin confinis boundary, border (see con-, fine2); (v.) < Middle French confiner, verbal derivative of confins < Latin, as above
Related formscon·fin·a·ble, con·fine·a·ble, adjectivecon·fine·less, adjectivecon·fin·er, nounnon·con·fin·ing, adjectivepre·con·fine, verb (used with object), pre·con·fined, pre·con·fin·ing.qua·si-con·fin·ing, adjectivere·con·fine, verb (used with object), re·con·fined, re·con·fin·ing.self-con·fin·ing, adjectiveun·con·fin·a·ble, adjectiveun·con·fin·ing, adjective

Synonyms for confine

Antonyms for confine

1, 2. free. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for confined

Contemporary Examples of confined

Historical Examples of confined

  • If it be possible for so universal a lover to be confined so long to one object?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • And what less did the world think of me now, he asked, than that I was confined that I might not?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • It might have been better had I confined myself to seconding the motion.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Not long after his arrival he had a slight attack of fever, which confined him to his bed.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • He is confined to his room, and is positively starving for company.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

British Dictionary definitions for confined



enclosed or restricted; limited
in childbed; undergoing childbirth
Derived Formsconfinedly (kənˈfaɪnɪdlɪ), adverbconfinedness, noun


verb (kənˈfaɪn) (tr)

to keep or close within bounds; limit; restrict
to keep shut in; restrict the free movement ofarthritis confined him to bed

noun (ˈkɒnfaɪn)

(often plural) a limit; boundary
Derived Formsconfinable or confineable, adjectiveconfineless, adjectiveconfiner, noun

Word Origin for confine

C16: from Medieval Latin confīnāre from Latin confīnis adjacent, from fīnis end, boundary
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

Word Origin and History for confined



c.1400, "boundary, limit" (usually as confines), from Old French confins "boundaries," from Medieval Latin confines, from Latin confinium (plural confinia) "boundary, limit," from confine, neuter of confinis "bordering on, having the same boundaries," from com- "with" (see com-) + finis "an end" (see finish (n.)).



1520s, "to border on," from Middle French confiner, from confins (n.); see confine (n.). Sense of "keeping within limits" is from 1590s. Related: Confined; confining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper