Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MEDICINE

Date: 1500-1600
Language: French
Origin: confiner, from Latin confinis; CONFINES

confine

verb
     
con‧fine W3 [transitive]
1

limit

to keep someone or something within the limits of a particular activity or subject [= restrict]
confine something to something
The police cadet's duties were confined to taking statements from the crowd.
We confined our study to 10 cases.
confine yourself to (doing) something
Owen did not confine himself to writing only one type of poem.
2

keep somebody in a place

to keep someone in a place that they cannot leave, such as a prison
confine somebody to something
Any soldier who leaves his post will be confined to barracks (=made to stay in the barracks).
be confined in something
He was allegedly confined in a narrow, dark room for two months.
3

stop something spreading

to stop something bad from spreading to another place
confine something to something
Firefighters managed to confine the fire to the living room.
4

stay in one place

[usually passive]M if you are confined to a place, you have to stay in that place, especially because you are ill:
Vaughan is confined to a wheelchair.
She's confined to bed with flu.
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