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 Cole was pepper-sprayed in both eyes, temporarily blinding her, and Hennessy-Fiske was hit at least five times by blunt projectiles and a tear gas canister on her left leg, according to their complaint. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2021 The affidavit points to one open-sourced video where Khater is seen telling Tanios to hand him a spray canister near the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m. Alexander Mallin, ABC News, 15 Mar. 2021 The wooden canister is great for an idyllic dinner al fresco. Kelsey Mulvey, Southern Living, 12 May 2021 Rioters began pulling on one of the racks, and Khater was seen with his arm in the air and the canister in his hand while standing just 5-to-8 feet from the officers, authorities said. Star Tribune, 11 May 2021 No word if the Pillsbury canister was for brownies. John Benson, cleveland, 14 Apr. 2021 Last month a fire swept through a Baghdad hospital for Covid patients after an oxygen canister exploded, killing more than 100 people, most of them patients and their relatives. New York Times, 8 May 2021 There’s also an update on Boost, a portable oxygen canister company. Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2021 Residents and business owners who want to test the air around their homes and their businesses can pick up an instantaneous testing canister at the fire station at 7036 Main St. in Newtown after calling 513-688-8093. Jeanne Houck,, 6 May 2021

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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for canister



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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