Learn 20 Expressions Related to Confinement

Confinement often conjures images of isolation and restriction, whether self-imposed or enforced by external circumstances. In our language, there are numerous expressions that vividly capture the essence of being confined. These phrases can describe physical, emotional, or metaphorical forms of confinement, providing a rich palette for expression. This blog post explores 20 such expressions, providing concise meanings and straightforward examples to help you understand and use them effectively in conversation or writing.

Expressions Related to Confinement

1. Cooped up

Meaning: Confined in a small space for a long period.

Example: After a week indoors, she felt cooped up.

2. Under lock and key

Meaning: Kept securely locked up.

Example: The documents were kept under lock and key.

3. Pacing the cage

Meaning: Restlessly moving within a confined space.

Example: He was pacing the cage, anxious for news.

4. In solitary confinement

Meaning: Isolated from others as a form of punishment.

Example: The prisoner was put in solitary confinement.

5. Held captive

Meaning: Confined and unable to leave.

Example: The hostages were held captive for days.

6. Boxed in

Meaning: Trapped or confined, with no escape options.

Example: She felt boxed in by her career choices.

7. Behind bars

Meaning: In prison.

Example: The culprit will spend ten years behind bars.

8. Grounded

Meaning: Restricted from going out as a punishment.

Example: He was grounded for breaking curfew.

9. On lockdown

Meaning: Under strict confinement, usually for security reasons.

Example: The school was on lockdown after the alert.

10. Stuck in a rut

Meaning: Trapped in a monotonous, unchanging situation.

Example: She felt stuck in a rut at her job.

11. Trapped like a rat

Meaning: Completely cornered with no escape.

Example: In the debate, he was trapped like a rat.

12. Under house arrest

Meaning: Confined to one’s home by the authorities instead of in prison.

Example: The dissident was under house arrest.

13. Confined quarters

Meaning: Very small, limited space to live or work in.

Example: Sailors often work in confined quarters.

14. Tied down

Meaning: Restricted by responsibilities or commitments.

Example: She can’t travel because she’s tied down by work.

15. In the clink

Meaning: In jail.

Example: He ended up in the clink after the fight.

16. In the hot seat

Meaning: Under intense pressure and scrutiny.

Example: During the inquiry, she was in the hot seat.

17. Caged bird

Meaning: Someone who feels trapped or confined.

Example: She sang like a caged bird longing for freedom.

18. Shackled by

Meaning: Severely restricted or constrained by something.

Example: He felt shackled by his debts.

19. Quarantined

Meaning: Isolated to prevent the spread of disease.

Example: The crew was quarantined after landing.

20. Clamped down

Meaning: Imposed strict controls or restrictions.

Example: The government clamped down on protests.

Expressions Related to Confinement