- 1 confine somebody/something to something [often passive] to keep somebody/something inside the limits of a particular activity, subject, area, etc. synonym restrict The work will not be confined to the Glasgow area. I will confine myself to looking at the period from 1900 to 1916.
- 2 confine somebody/something (in something) [usually passive] to keep a person or an animal in a small or closed space Keep the dog confined in a suitable travelling cage. Here the river is confined in a narrow channel. The soldiers concerned were confined to barracks (= had to stay in the barracks, as a punishment).
- 3be confined to bed, a wheelchair, etc. to have to stay in bed, in a wheelchair, etc. She was confined to bed with the flu. He was confined to a wheelchair after the accident. Word Origin late Middle English (as a noun): from French confins (plural noun), from Latin confinia, from confinis
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BrE BrE//kənˈfaɪn//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈfaɪn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they confine
BrE BrE//kənˈfaɪn//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈfaɪn//he / she / it confines
BrE BrE//kənˈfaɪnz//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈfaɪnz//past simple confined
BrE BrE//kənˈfaɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈfaɪnd//past participle confined
BrE BrE//kənˈfaɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈfaɪnd//-ing form confining
BrE BrE//kənˈfaɪnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈfaɪnɪŋ//