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 To buy: 3/4 pound chicken breast cutlets 1 jar Dijon mustard, 1 orange, 1 small container heavy cream, 1 bunch thyme, 1 French baguette, 1/2 pound French green beans. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 13 July 2021 More containers of mixed rare earth carbonates are expected to be shipped from the US to Estonia in the coming months, barring obstacles posed by shipping container shortages. Mary Hui, Quartz, 12 July 2021 Of course, anyone capable of rolling a joint or baking some pot brownies is, presumably, equally capable of squeezing or pulling open a childproof flower container., 11 July 2021 Then apply a slow-release fertilizer at the container rate, following label instructions for repeat applications. Tom Maccubbin,, 10 July 2021 The fireworks burned rubbish inside the 4-cubic-yard dumpster and melted the entire container, said Craig Gault, a Portland fire investigator at the scene. oregonlive, 9 July 2021 The garden supply store in suburban Baltimore has been waiting six months for a shipping container from Vietnam full of $100,000 worth of wicker and aluminum furniture. Josh Boak, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 July 2021 Kell Duncan co-owns The Churchill and says the businesses that make up the shipping container food court plan around the central courtyard's watch parties, which are when the area sees the greatest influx of customers. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 9 July 2021 Strain out the zest and transfer the lemon oil to a clean jar or sealable container. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 July 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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Buying Guide

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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

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Container.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 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)

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


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