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confinement

[kuh n-fahyn-muh nt]
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noun
  1. the act of confining.
  2. the state of being confined.
  3. the lying-in of a woman in childbed; accouchement; childbirth.
  4. Military. incarceration in a guardhouse or prison while awaiting trial or as a punishment (distinguished from arrest).
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Origin of confinement

1640–50; confine + -ment; compare French confinement
Related formsnon·con·fine·ment, nounpost·con·fine·ment, nounpre·con·fine·ment, nounself-con·fine·ment, nounsem·i·con·fine·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

detentionincarcerationrepressionjailcustodyinternmentcontrolkeepingsafekeepingcrampconstraintlimitationcurbcircumscriptioncoercioncheckbondsdelimitationbounding

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

confinement

noun
  1. the act of confining or the state of being confined
  2. the period from the onset of labour to the birth of a child
  3. physics another name for containment (def. 3)
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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 confinement

n.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

confinement in Medicine

confinement

(kən-fīnmənt)
n.
  1. The act of restricting or the state of being restricted in movement.
  2. Lying-in.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.