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 containerless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for container


holder, receptacle, vessel

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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

According to Nationwide Children's Hospital, parents and child caregivers can increase safety by making sure personal care products are stored safely and locked out of sight, never left unattended, and are kept in their original containers. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "Household cosmetic products send children to the emergency room every two hours, study finds," 17 June 2019 The best thing parents and child caregivers can do is to keep their cosmetic products stored safely and in their original containers. Minali Nigam, CNN, "Injuries from cosmetics send 4,300 children to ERs every year," 17 June 2019 La Croix’s parent company National Beverages facing a new lawsuit after new allegations that the company’s president considered falsely claiming its drink containers were free of the toxic chemical BPA. Andrew Hirschfeld, Fortune, "Does LaCroix Contain Chemicals? Here's What Two Separate Lawsuits Allege," 13 June 2019 Water Station has secured official permits from the federal Bureau of Land Management to place its water containers throughout the Imperial Valley. John Moore/getty Images, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial revives debate: When does border humanitarian aid become a crime?," 9 June 2019 Bring your own containers or boxes to take your berries home. Annie Alleman, Post-Tribune, "Rainy weather will make it a good berry picking season in the Region," 6 June 2019 After seven days in space, LightSail 2 will pop out of its container, extend four long booms, and deploy four sheets of mirror-like Mylar plastic into a 340-square-foot, square sail. NBC News, "Spacecraft that sail on sunshine could be the next big thing in spaceflight," 3 June 2019 Any resident who wishes to dispose of an unserviceable flag may bring the flag to Memorial Hall just prior to the ceremony or place the flag in the container at the entrance door., "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 5 June 2019 The product will be shipped in a container made of recycled paper and will arrive without an outer carton in order to reduce packaging, P&G said. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "P&G is testing refillable containers for Olay," 5 June 2019

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

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Statistics for container

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for container

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

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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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Comments on container

What made you want to look up container? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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