[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

Related Words for confining


Examples from the Web for confining

Contemporary Examples of confining

Historical Examples of confining

British Dictionary definitions for confining


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 confining



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