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confine (someone or something) to (someone or something)

1. To restrict a person or animal to a particular place or area. Don't worry, the baby is confined to her playpen right now. Maddy is scared of dogs, so we need to confine Fido to the back yard.
2. To restrict something to a particular person or thing; to limit the scope of something. We need to confine our investigation to the area around the park for now. Please confine your requests to the essentials, so as to not overwhelm the staff.
See also: confine, to

confine (someone or something) within (something)

To restrict a person or animal to a particular place or area. Don't worry, I confined the baby within her playpen. Maddy is scared of dogs, so we need to confine Fido within the back yard.
See also: confine, within
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

confine someone or an animal to something

to limit someone or an animal to a particular place; to imprison someone or an animal in a particular place. Would you please confine the dog to the basement? She confined herself to the small room for over a year because of her fear of crowds.
See also: animal, confine, to

confine (someone or an animal) within something

to contain someone or an animal within something. We were unable to confine the dog within the yard. Could you confine all your car-repair mess within the garage?
See also: confine, within

confine something to someone or something

to limit something or the doing of something to a person or a thing. Please try to confine your comments to John. Can we confine tonight's discussion to the agenda?
See also: confine, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
I went to Fitzalan and at that time we were not allowed outside the confines of the school unless we were going home for lunch; it never deprived us of anything.
Thus, in construing human consciousness as ultimate consciousness, we fall prey to a slough of despair: believing that our own, incomplete understanding of life is the only understanding of life, that the universe does not exceed the often paltry confines of human interpretation.
Humankind, sensitive to such extra-logical presences, has never been able to confine them in the palm of its thought.
As John Ashbery said in a recent catalogue essay for the artist, "If there is allegory here it concerns the subtle and not necessarily antagonistic relations between life and the structures that both confine and support it, an allegory of how humanity interacts with the restrictions it has either stumbled on or erected to advance its business."
Within the confines of time and space, a pilgrimage enables us to realize that, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we are capable of also finding God, if only we venture to seek him out.
In other words, particles heap up on one side of the ring that confines them.
One way of maintaining a light beam's intensity for longer distances is to focus the beam into an optical fiber, which confines the light and keeps the beam from broadening as it travels along the glassy strand.
This geometric arrangement spatially confines carriers of electrical charge such as electrons and "electron holes," which are mobile, positively charged microregions of a material that pair with free electrons.
Lynching sought to deny African Americans their citizenry and to keep them to their "place" by, precisely, reimposing corporeality on (particularly) black men: "With the advent of Emancipation and its attendant loss of the slave system's marking of the African-American body as property," argues Wiegman, "lynching emerged to reclaim and reassert the centrality of black male corporeality, deterring the now theoretically possible move toward citizenry and disembodied abstraction." Lynching, then, works to confine African Americans in the same way as enforced visibility does: Both have as their effect "the imposition of an extreme corporeality," which is precisely what "define[s] .