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1. To physically block and thus prevent someone or something from moving from a certain spot. A noun can be used between "box" and "in" or after "in." Well, I guess I'm not leaving yet because that van is boxing in my car.
2. To limit one's options or cause one to feel restricted or stuck. A noun can be used between "box" and "in" or after "in." I'm a very versatile performer—don't just box me in as a comedic actress.
box someone in
Fig. to put someone into a bind; to reduce the number of someone's alternatives. I don't want to box you in, but you are running out of options. I want to box in the whole staff, so they'll have to do it my way.
box someone or something in
to trap or confine someone or something. He boxed her in so she could not get away from him. They tried to box in the animals, but they needed more space. Don't try to box me in.
1. To trap or confine someone or something in a limited space or region: We boxed in the left corner of the living room with a new wall and curtains. The enemy forces had boxed us in on all sides.
2. To prevent someone from acting freely, usually by creating restrictions or obstacles: Being too strict will box in your students and prevent them from being creative. I want to make some changes at the office, but my boss has boxed me in with too many rules.