box

noun (1)
\ ˈbäks How to pronounce box (audio) \
plural boxes

Definition of box

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1 : a rigid typically rectangular container with or without a cover a cigar box : such as
a : an open cargo container of a vehicle
b : coffin
2 : the contents of a box especially as a measure of quantity
3 : an often small space, compartment, or enclosure: such as
a : an enclosed group of seats for spectators (as in a theater or stadium)
b : a cell for holding mail
d : a driver's seat on a carriage or coach
e British : box stall
4 : a box or boxlike container and its contents: such as
a : a usually self-contained piece of electronic equipment
c : a signaling apparatus alarm box
d : an automobile transmission
e British : a gift in a box
f : boom box
5 : a usually rectangular space that is frequently outlined or demarcated on a surface: such as
a : a space on a page for printed matter or in which to make a mark
b : any of six spaces on a baseball diamond where the batter, coaches, pitcher, and catcher stand
c : the intersection of two roads especially when treated as an area where vehicles are prohibited from stopping because doing so would interfere with traffic flow Don't block the box.
6 : the limitations of conventionality trying to think outside the box
7 : a cubical building
8 British : cup sense 5b I like to use a pair of trousers which have a lot more room in them so that they give me far more freedom of movement. They also make it easier to put in a thigh pad and box.— Glenn Turner

box

verb (1)
boxed; boxing; boxes

Definition of box (Entry 2 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : to enclose in or as if in a box
2 : to hem in (someone, such as an opponent) usually used with in, out, or up boxed out the tackle

box

verb (2)
boxed; boxing; boxes

Definition of box (Entry 3 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to fight with the fists : engage in boxing

transitive verb

1 : to hit (something, especially someone's ears) with the hand
2 : to engage in boxing with

box

noun (2)

Definition of box (Entry 4 of 6)

: a punch or slap especially on the ear

box

noun (3)
plural box or boxes

Definition of box (Entry 5 of 6)

: an evergreen shrub or small tree (genus Buxus of the family Buxaceae, the box family) with opposite entire leaves and capsular fruits especially : a widely cultivated shrub (B. sempervirens) used for hedges, borders, and topiary figures

box

verb (3)
boxed; boxing; boxes

Definition of box (Entry 6 of 6)

transitive verb

: to name the 32 points of (the compass) in their order used figuratively in the phrase box the compass to describe making a complete reversal

Other Words from box

Noun (1)

boxful \ ˈbäks-​fu̇l How to pronounce boxful (audio) \ noun, plural boxfuls
boxlike \ ˈbäks-​ˌlīk How to pronounce boxlike (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of box

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1519, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (3)

1713, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for box

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis, from pyxos box tree

Noun (2)

Middle English

Noun (3)

Middle English, from Old English, from Latin buxus, from Greek pyxos

Verb (3)

probably from Spanish bojar to circumnavigate, from Catalan vogir to turn, from Latin volvere to roll — more at voluble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about box

Statistics for box

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for box

The first known use of box was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for box

box

noun
\ ˈbäks How to pronounce box (audio) \

Kids Definition of box

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: an evergreen shrub or small tree used for hedges

box

noun

Kids Definition of box (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a container usually having four sides, a bottom, and a cover
2 : the contents of a box Don't eat the whole box of candy!
3 : a four-sided shape on a piece of paper or computer screen Put an X in the box.
4 : an enclosed place for one or more persons a penalty box

box

verb
boxed; boxing

Kids Definition of box (Entry 3 of 4)

: to enclose in or as if in a box

box

verb
boxed; boxing

Kids Definition of box (Entry 4 of 4)

: to fight with the fists

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on box

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with box

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for box

Spanish Central: Translation of box

Nglish: Translation of box for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of box for Arabic Speakers

Comments on box

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!