American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


CON'FINE, noun [Latin , at the end or border, adjoining; a limit; end, border, limit. See Fine.] Border; edge; exterior part; the part of any territory which is at or near the end or extremity. It is used generally in the plural, and applied chiefly to the countries, territory, cities, rivers, etc. We say, the confines of France, or of Scotland, and figuratively, the confines of light, of death, or the grave; but never, the confines of a book, table or small piece of land.

CON'FINE, adjective Bordering on; lying on the border; adjacent; having a common boundary.

CON'FINE, verb intransitive To border on; to touch the limit; to be adjacent or contiguous, as one territory, kingdom or state to another; usually followed by on; sometimes by with. England confines on Scotland. Connecticut confines on Massachusets, New-York, Rhode Island and the sound.

CONFI'NE, verb transitive [See Supra.]

1. To bound or limit; to restrain within limits; hence, to imprison; to shut up; to restrain from escape by force or insurmountable obstacles, in a general sense; as, to confine horses or cattle to an inclosure; to confine water in a pond, to dam; to confine a garrison in a town; to confine a criminal in prison.

2. To immure; to deep close, by a voluntary act; to be much at home or in retirement; as, a man confines himself to his studies, or to his house.

3. To limit or restrain voluntarily, in some act or practice; as, a man may confine himself to the use of animal food.

4. To tie or bind; to make fast or close; as, to confine air in a bladder, or corn in a bag or sack.

5. To restrain by a moral force; as, to confine men by laws. The constitution of the United States confines the states to the exercise of powers of a local nature.