con·fine /kənˈfaɪn/ verb con·fines; con·fined; con·fin·ing
] 1 :
to keep (someone or something) within limits :
to prevent (someone or something) from going beyond a particular limit, area, etc. — usually + to ▪ Please confine [=restrict, limit] your comments to 200 words. ▪ The cancer was confined to the lung. [=the cancer was only in the lung; the cancer had not spread to any other parts of the body] ▪ We must confine ourselves to the agenda we've agreed on for this meeting. [=we must only talk about what is on the agenda] ▪ The town would like to confine commercial development to an area by the highway. ▪ Students need not confine themselves to a single area of study. ▪ The city's poverty is not confined to just one neighborhood.
to keep (a person or animal) in a place (such as a prison) — usually used as (be) confined ▪ Violent criminals are sometimes confined for life. ▪ a camp where prisoners were confined during the war
— often + to or in ▪ She was confined to a psychiatric hospital for a year. ▪ The bull was confined in a pen behind the barn.
to force or cause (someone) to stay in something (such as a bed or wheelchair) — usually used as (be) confined ▪ I regularly visit a sick neighbor who is confined at home. [=who cannot leave home because of being sick]
— often + to ▪ He was confined to a wheelchair. ▪ She was confined to bed for a week with the flu.