Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb un·pack \ˌən-ˈpak\

Simple Definition of unpack

  • : to take something out of a suitcase, box, etc.

  • : to make (something) easier to understand by breaking it up into smaller parts that can be examined separately

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of unpack

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to remove the contents of <unpack a suitcase> b :  unburden, reveal <must…unpack my heart with words — Shakespeare>

  3. 2 :  to remove or undo from packing or a container <unpacked his gear>

  4. 3 :  to analyze the nature of by examining in detail :  explicate <unpack a concept>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to engage in unpacking a container



Examples of unpack in a sentence

  1. It's been a year since I moved here and I still haven't unpacked all of my books.

  2. I unpacked my suitcase as soon as I arrived home.

  3. By the time we got to the hotel, I was too tired to unpack.

  4. She's good at unpacking complex concepts.

15th Century

First Known Use of unpack

15th century

Rhymes with unpack

aback, ack-ack, alack, amtrac, Anzac, arrack, attack, backpack, backtrack, Balzac, bareback, blackjack, blowback, bootblack, bootjack, brushback, bushwhack, buyback, callback, calpac, carjack, champac, cheapjack, coatrack, come back, comeback, cookshack, crackback, crookback, cut back, cutback, Dayak, dieback, Dirac, draw back, drawback, fall back, fallback, fastback, fast-track, fatback, feedback, finback, fireback, flapjack, flashback, fullback, gimcrack, giveback, graywacke, greenback, gripsack, guaiac, halfback, half-track, hardback, hardhack, hardtack, hatchback, hayrack, haystack, hijack, hogback, hold back, holdback, hopsack, horseback, humpback, hunchback, Iraq, jam-pack, jet-black, Kanak, Karnak, kayak, Kazak, kickback, knapsack, knickknack, kulak, kyack, laid-back, lampblack, leaseback, linac, macaque, man jack, manpack, Micmac, mossback, muntjac, Muzak, notchback, offtrack, one-track, outback, packsack, payback, pitch-black, play back, playback, plow back, plowback, Prozac, pullback, quillback, racetrack, ransack, rickrack, roll back, rollback, roorback, rucksack, runback, sad sack, scatback, serac, set back, setback, shellac, shellback, shoeblack, shoepac, sidetrack, six-pack, skewback, skipjack, skyjack, slapjack, slotback, Slovak, smokejack, smokestack, snap back, snapback, snowpack, softback, sumac, swayback, sweepback, swept-back, switchback, tailback, tarmac, thornback, throw back, throwback, thumbtack, ticktack, tieback, tie tack, tombac, touchback, tow sack, trictrac, tripack, wetback, whaleback, wingback, wisecrack, wolf pack, woolpack, woolsack, yashmak, zwieback

UNPACK Defined for Kids


verb un·pack \ˌən-ˈpak\

Definition of unpack for Students



  1. 1 :  to separate and remove things that are packed <Will you unpack the groceries?>

  2. 2 :  to open and remove the contents of <I unpacked my suitcase.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up unpack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


prophetic or oracular

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which is a synonym of indolent?

frenetic philistine melancholy lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.