con·​tain·​er | \ kən-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce container (audio) \

Definition of container

: one that contains: such as
a : a receptacle (such as a box or jar) for holding goods
b : a portable compartment in which freight is placed (as on a train or ship) for convenience of movement

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Other Words from container

containerless \ kən-​ˈtā-​nər-​ləs How to pronounce container (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for container


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Examples of container in a Sentence

The tea leaves come in a small metal container. bowls, boxes, jars, and other containers The shipment of tools arrived at the dock in cargo containers yesterday.
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Recent Examples on the Web There is no hard and fast rule for when to transfer shoots, but a transition container is advised as shoots will outgrow the shallow soil in the starter tray but not always be mature enough to be planted outside. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Yes, it's still winter, but it's not too early to sprout seeds indoors," 12 Feb. 2021 The leading economic newspaper, Les Echos, ran its article about the development under the shocking image of a woman eating a salad of lettuce and tomato from a plastic container in front of her laptop. New York Times, "France’s Latest Covid Measure: Letting Workers Eat at Their Desks," 7 Feb. 2021 Transfer the potatoes into a shallow container and place them in a 325°F oven to dry out for 10 to 15 minutes. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, "Oops, My Mashed Potatoes are Soupy. Here's How to Thicken Them," 7 Feb. 2021 Simply fill a couple of pots with your garden soil, plant a few beans into them, then plant a few beans into some container mix. oregonlive, "Adding sand to clay soil could make drainage issue worse: Ask an expert," 6 Feb. 2021 Pour into a squeeze bottle or container with a lid, such as a Mason jar. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Mocktail game-changer: New book offers 100 sophisticated booze-free and low-alcohol recipes," 25 Jan. 2021 After 30 minutes, use tongs to transfer sausages and chicken to a covered container. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Boiled dinner sounds so much sexier in French: Pot au feu. Either way, it’s the warm comfort you need now.," 25 Jan. 2021 Put out the fire completely with sand or water and dispose of ashes and embers, which could stay active for up to two days, in a metal container. Christine Lennon, Sunset Magazine, "9 Affordable Fire Pits for Safer, Cozier Outside Nights," 22 Jan. 2021 Once the wick is burned down, remove any remaining wax and reuse the jar as a container for cosmetic brushes in the bathroom or writing utensils at your desk. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Best Soy Candles for a Clean, Long-Lasting Scent," 22 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'container.' 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 container

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for container

Middle English conteyner, from conteynen "to contain" + -er -er entry 2

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Time Traveler for container

Time Traveler

The first known use of container was in the 15th century

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Statistics for container

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Container.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for container



English Language Learners Definition of container

: an object (such as a box or can) that can hold something
: a large box that goods are placed in so that they can be moved from one place to another on a ship, airplane, train, or truck


con·​tain·​er | \ kən-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce container (audio) \

Kids Definition of container

: something into which other things can be put (as for storage)

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