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confine - definition and synonyms


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verb [transitive] confine pronunciation in American English /kənˈfaɪn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleconfining
past tenseconfined
past participleconfined
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  1. 1
    [usually passive] to force someone to stay in a place and prevent them from leaving
    confine someone to something: Many prisoners are confined to their cells for long periods of time.
    1. a.
      to make someone stay in a place because they are too ill, weak, or disabled to leave
      confine someone to something: Ill health kept him confined to his room.
  2. 2
    to prevent something dangerous from spreading
    confine something to something: They managed to confine the fire to the engine room.
  3. 3
    [always passive] if something is confined to one area or group of people, it happens only in that area or affects only that group of people
    be confined to someone/something: Before 1914 divorce was largely confined to the upper classes.
    The risk of infection is confined to relatively small groups.
    1. a.
      formal to keep an activity within particular limits
      confine something to something: I shall attempt to confine the discussion to broad principles.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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