can·​is·​ter | \ ˈka-nə-stər How to pronounce canister (audio) \
variants: or less commonly cannister

Definition of canister

1 : an often cylindrical container for holding a usually specified object or substance a film canister
2 : encased shot for close-range artillery fire
3 : a perforated metal box for gas masks with material to adsorb, filter, or detoxify airborne poisons and irritants

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Synonyms for canister


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Examples of canister in a Sentence

she put the store-bought cookies in a fancy canister to make them look homemade
Recent Examples on the Web Those plans were ultimately foiled by a dilophosaurus and the canister rolled down a hill as rain-soaked it into the mud. Nick Romano,, "Jurassic World: Dominion brings back mysterious Jurassic Park character," 26 June 2020 Many of these altercations have been captured on video, including an episode last month when police struck a Eugene Weekly reporter with a tear gas canister at close range near the University of Oregon. oregonlive, "Portland journalists face police ire while covering Black Lives Matter protests," 16 June 2020 But the counterprotesters clashed with both Black Lives Matter demonstrators and police in riot gear, pelting officers with bottles and cans and throwing a smoke canister, The Guardian reported. Fox News, "Black protester carries white man through angry crowd to safety to 'stop someone from being killed'," 15 June 2020 Anyone who is very close to a stun-grenade blast could suffer serious burns, internal injuries from the shock waves - especially eardrum injuries - or puncture wounds from flying shrapnel if the canister breaks apart. Anchorage Daily News, "A guide to the less-lethal weapons that law enforcement uses against protesters," 7 June 2020 Last weekend, a college student in Indiana lost his eye when a tear gas canister hit his face. Lisa Song, ProPublica, "Tear Gas Is Way More Dangerous Than Police Let On — Especially During the Coronavirus Pandemic," 4 June 2020 Police then released a canister of smoke into the crowd. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Huntsville’s top cops defend teargassing protesters; sheriff would ‘do it again’," 3 June 2020 What photo and video evidence showed Nathan Baca, a reporter for D.C affiliate WUSA9 picked up a canister used on Monday. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Tear gas vs. pepper spray. Debate over methods used to clear Lafayette Square turns political," 3 June 2020 And the police basically shot a tear gas canister right at us. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Protest Medics on Being Targeted by the Police, in Their Own Words," 3 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canister.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of canister

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canister

Latin canistrum basket, from Greek kanastron wicker basket, from kanna reed — more at cane

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Time Traveler for canister

Time Traveler

The first known use of canister was in 1692

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Statistics for canister

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Canister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for canister


How to pronounce canister (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of canister

: a container with a lid that is used for keeping dry products
: a plastic or metal container that is used for keeping a roll of film
: a metal case that contains gas or chemical substances and that bursts when it is fired from a gun


can·​is·​ter | \ ˈka-nə-stər How to pronounce canister (audio) \

Kids Definition of canister

: a small box or can for holding a dry product canisters of flour

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