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hem in

This page is about the phrasal verb hem in.

Meaning: to restrict someone's movement, or to limit someone's freedom

Synonym: constrain (formal)

For example:

  • hem sb in Ronaldo was hemmed in by defenders, so he couldn't get a shot on goal.

  • be hemmed in by sth Louis had always felt hemmed in by social conventions and the pressure to conform.

Quick Quiz:

When they reached Government House, the protesters were hemmed in by

a. bad weather

b. rows of police

c. anti-government speeches

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Contributor: Matt Errey