When something is confining it limits you and holds you in. If you find living in a small town confining, you probably feel claustrophobic, like there's not enough room there for you and your aspirations.

The -fin- in confining is the same root that's found in words such as the French word fin, meaning "end" or "limit." The con- is the familiar Latin suffix that means "together." So when something is confining, it's like a border drawn around you. In some cases, confining can be a good thing, like when your efforts at confining the fire to the kitchen saved the rest of the house.

Definitions of confining
  1. adjective
    restricting the scope or freedom of action
    synonyms: constraining, constrictive, limiting, restricting
    serving to restrict
  2. adjective
    synonyms: close
    not free to move about
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