Meaning of “confine” in the English Dictionary

"confine" in British English

See all translations

confineverb

uk /kənˈfaɪn/ us /kənˈfaɪn/

C2 [ T ] to limit an activity, person, or problem in some way:

Let's confine our discussion to the matter in question, please!
Please confine your use of the phone to business calls.
By closing the infected farms we're hoping to confine the disease to the north of the region (= stop it from spreading to other areas).

C2 [ T usually passive ] to keep someone closed in a place, often by force:

The hostages had been confined for so long that they couldn't cope with the outside world.
be confined to somewhere/sth

to exist only in a particular area or group of people:

We know that the illness is not confined to any one group in society.
This attitude seems to be confined to the verty wealthy.

More examples

  • Men have always played an active part in leading worship while women have been confined to more passive roles.
  • The campaign aims to dispel the prejudice that AIDS is confined to the homosexual community.
  • Let's confine our remarks to the facts, shall we?
  • We confined our research to families with only one autistic child.
  • It was terrible for our research to be confined by lack of money.

(Definition of “confine” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"confine" in American English

See all translations

confineverb [ T ]

us /kənˈfɑɪn/

to keep someone or something within limits:

The animals were confined in a large pen.
Harris does not confine her stage work to Broadway.

If something is confined to a particular group of people, it exists only among them:

Cancer is not confined to old people.
confined
adjective us /kənˈfɑɪnd/

You can’t keep kids in a confined space for long.
confinement
noun [ U ] us /kənˈfɑɪn·mənt/

He was tired of the constant confinement of his office.

(Definition of “confine” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)