Simple Definition of contain
: to have (something) inside
: to have or include (something)
: to keep (something) from spreading : to keep (something) within limits
Full Definition of contain
1 : to keep within limits: as a : restrain, control <could hardly contain her enthusiasm> b : check, halt <contain the spread of a deadly disease> c : to follow successfully a policy of containment toward <efforts to contain Communism> d : to prevent (as an enemy or opponent) from advancing or from making a successful attack
: to restrain oneself
Examples of contain
The room was barely big enough to contain everyone who came to the meeting.
The book contains over 200 recipes.
The article contains information on how to plan your retirement.
foods that contain a high level of fat
The movie contains something for both children and adults.
State health officials have succeeded in containing the virus.
Origin of contain
Middle English conteinen, from Anglo-French cunteign-, cuntyen-, stem of cuntenir, from Latin continēre to hold together, hold in, contain, from com- + tenēre to hold — more at thin
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of contain
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