French word of the day: Déconfiner

French word of the day: Déconfiner
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
A word that has become associated with happiness over the past year.

Why do I need to know déconfiner?

Because over the last year it’s become rather a big deal.

What does it mean?

Déconfiner comes from the verb se déconfiner, which refers to sortir d’une situation de confinement – ‘exiting a confinement situation’.

It’s the negative of confiner – to impose a confinement or lockdown.

Therefore the day we begin to nous déconfiner is le déconfinement – the lifting of lockdown restrictions including bar closures and curfew.

Noun vs. verb

Se déconfiner is a verb and déconfinement a noun.

You can use both, but in different ways.

Nous attendons avec impatience le jour où nous commençons de se déconfiner – We’re all keenly awaiting the day where we begin to unwind the lockdown. 

Le déconfinement débute en mai – the lifting of lockdown begins in May


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And there is now a third option to add to confinement and déconfinement, but we hope that we will never have to use again – reconfinement.

Logically, this is when a country goes back into lockdown and one we hope we can retire in 2022.


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