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

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 Jacus continued along the spur road toward the smoldering tree, where the fire crew had recovered a Mossy Oak–branded camo backpack stuffed with a bright orange sweatshirt and logging gear, as well as a gas canister. Lauren Markham, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 Police officers in riot gear have fired tear gas at protesters, leading to the death of one protester who human rights groups say was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister. New York Times, 23 June 2022 Without warning, the suit alleges, Marks was struck in the right eye by a tear-gas canister fired by an officer. Randy Furst, Star Tribune, 21 Sep. 2020 This one-burner option from Coleman sits atop a propane canister, and gets the job done. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 20 May 2020 Facente said the warning did not come until the second canister of tear gas was launched. Lillian Boyd, The Arizona Republic, 26 June 2022 Stash a canister of grease-cutting cleaning wipes nearby, like Clorox Multi-Purpose Paper Towel Wipes, for quickly removing sticky messes from side tables and handles. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 10 June 2022 By 2020, alarmed by rising violent crime rates across the country, the protection Lognion had at home — her dog, a canister of mace, an alarm system — no longer felt like enough. Anne Branigin, Washington Post, 6 June 2022 The canister was eventually lowered safely but the NRC chided Edison officials for not reporting the incident within 24 hours. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of canister was in 1692

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Canister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for canister


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

More from Merriam-Webster on canister

Nglish: Translation of canister for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canister for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about canister


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