Regarding this matter, I've googled and came up with this website, which says:

As verbs the difference [...] is that confined is (confine) while constrained is (constrain).
As adjectives the difference [...] is that confined is not free to move while constrained is within close bounds [...]

With the first paragraph it is that I simply do not understand it grammatically. I read the second one as confined is stricter than constrained.
Is this correct?

My guess would be that "constrained" may refer to virtually any situation while "confined" is only applied to physical space.

  • 2
    That web site doesn't get it quite right. A dog is constrained by a chain but confined by a fence. More generally, a constraint limits the type and extent of action one might take, while a confinement limits the range of possibilities of action.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 21, 2015 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


The difference between confine and constrain.


To restrict; to keep within bounds; to shut or keep in a limited space or area.


To force physically, by strong persuasion; to compel; to oblige.

And as a noun confine means limit.(confine and constrain)

  • 1
    It is encouraged to post a link and name of the source. Please edit your answer.
    – user140086
    Dec 22, 2015 at 6:53
  • It looks far better. +1) :-)
    – user140086
    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:41
  • 1
    Alright, these are two definitions, but could you explain the difference between both somewhat more, please?
    – cadaniluk
    Dec 22, 2015 at 12:26
  • The definitions are quite clear, but as adjectives confined means (of a space or an area) small and surrounded by walls or sides. For example: "It is cruel to keep animals in confined spaces". (Oxford dictionary) And constrained means to feel very strongly that you must do something. For example: "I feel constrained to tell the truth". (Longman dictionary)
    – haha
    Dec 22, 2015 at 17:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.