to box in

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition -

"to box in"

to limit someone’s freedom to choose what to do


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - box in

"to box in"

to trap or confine someone or something


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - box in

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I am always the guy people go to when it is time to crunch numbers. I have become the number-crunching guy. What if I wanted to try something different? What if I wanted to work with a client?

Colleague 2:  That is probably not going to happen. You have become boxed in to the number-crunching role.

Colleague 1:  So, I guess with no choice in the matter here, I will have to look for a different job if I want a change.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - box in

A couple are talking in their car outside a restaurant ...

Wife:  Don't park so close behind the car in front.

Husband:  Why not? Parking space is really limited here.

Wife:  Because if you park that close to the car in front, another car will park that close behind you and that car will box us in. After dinner we won't be able to leave. We'll be trapped.

to box in - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   596   click for frequency by country

to box in - Gerund Form:

Boxing yourself in by taking only one type of acting role can limit an actor's career choices.

Boxing in the vehicle in front of you by parking too close behind does not earn you any friends.

to box in - Examples:

1)  You don't have to box yourself in by the constraints of other people and society. You are more powerful ...

2)  This is important for your long-term business strategy. Don't box yourself in. Leave room for expansion by focusing on the vision, ...

3)  If you drive anything larger and park there, you may actually box yourself in or other customers or end up with damaged bumpers or fenders.

4)  ... he knows he'd struggle to move on from that aesthetic. People box you in and I think there are very few artists ...

5)  ... vehicle following you as you drive in the opposite direction. If they try to box you in, drive backwards and forward rapidly to use your vehicle bumper as a ...

6)  SugarSync has never, and will never, box you in to a single folder. When other Cloud services make you move everything ...

7)  I've got the right. If he's on the floor we'll box him in, force him into the middle.

8)  On the question of tricking customers -- it's quite true. You box them in so that they go wrong themselves.

9)  She resists any kind of confinement, so don't try to box her in.

10)  It is high time we return the favour, box her in, deny her access to Central Asia.

11)  ... and the lead guitar on the other side, completely boxed in, with the rear stage curtain right behind it. You couldn't even ...

12)  ... walls, windows, door and a roof just isn't enough. Why be boxed in by four walls when you can make your home or business look just like ...

13)  I am right there with you about not being categorized or boxed in.

14)  Mika knows what you expect, and he refuses to be boxed in.

15)  Am I forgetting the dreams I once had? Or have I become boxed in by a dream that I have now outgrown?

16)  When people, or whole segments of our society are boxed in by poverty, minimal education, and very few job opportunities, they do ...

17)  ... work without a continuous cycle of refinancing or actual sales. Homeowners are now boxed in by a harsh reality. Prices will drop massively, as they have already ...

18)  ... a hole in the crowd but I couldn't find one, I was completely boxed in. I couldn't stay here, I had to get away.

19)  I honestly think he was so boxed in with these questions, I'm not even sure a win was possible.

20)  And, oh, if only the economy was not so boxed in by the government that they were not limited in their chances to explore!