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

Other Words from container

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

Synonyms for container


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Place them in a cornucopia, a basket or other decorative container and use it as a meaningful centerpiece for your table. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 22 Sep. 2022 Then tape paper-punch circles and the decorative strips to a clear container or bowl. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Sep. 2022 As the Jordan Cove Energy Project grew less and less likely, priority shifted to the container terminal. Container shipping forms the backbone of modern global trade. oregonlive, 22 Sep. 2022 For a separate group of mice returned to the container after three weeks, the hippocampus stayed quiet. Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2022 Also, make sure any container has a drain hole because no plant likes soggy feet. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, 21 Sep. 2022 Michelle Fairley, who plays mob matriarch Marian Wallace, and Orli Shuka, who portrays Albanian mafia leader Luan Dushaj, are having an intense conversation in a car while nearby ominously squats a massive steel container. Clark Collis,, 21 Sep. 2022 The driver was found to be impaired and was arrested for OVI and open container. Brian Lisik, cleveland, 19 Sep. 2022 Under a privatization deal signed with Gov. John Carney's administration in 2018, Gulftainer agreed to take over operations at the port for 50 years and invest almost $600 million in port upgrades and a new container-handling terminal at Edgemoor. Randall Chase, ajc, 19 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About container

Time Traveler for container

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near container




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for container

Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Container.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for container


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on container

Nglish: Translation of container for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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