box someone in

box in

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.
See also: box

box someone in

tv. to put someone into a bind; to reduce the number of someone’s alternatives. (see also boxed in.) I don’t want to box you in, but you are running out of options.
See also: box, someone