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


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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 At Silk City Distillers in Clifton, N.J., the 4,000 four-ounce containers the company produced and distributed were scooped up in less than a week. Fox News, "Coronavirus and craft: how local beer, spirit makers are helping (and hurting)," 26 Mar. 2020 Newsletter Sign-up China accounts for an estimated 40% of business for container shipping companies. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Coronavirus Rattles Shipping Industry as Supply Shock Moves to Demand Decline," 26 Mar. 2020 Again, there’s no evidence that anyone has contracted the virus from a takeout container. Esther Mobley,, "Can you get the coronavirus from touching or eating food?," 25 Mar. 2020 The body is placed in blanket, shroud or biodegradable container and is placed in soil or the ground. Erica Lamberg, USA TODAY, "An overview of final arrangement options," 25 Mar. 2020 The company’s network of container farms now spans 44 states in the United States and 25 countries., "Waltham company given FDA approval for test kit," 25 Mar. 2020 The freezer case is packed with meals to take home and reheat, serving two to four, from foil pans or microwave containers. June Naylor, Dallas News, "7 locally-owned North Texas restaurants offering heat-and-eat family meals and bake-at-home sweets," 24 Mar. 2020 Learn no lessons from cookie incident and add two cannisters of Pringles and a hundred containers of Cup O’ Noodles to cart. Claire Friedman, The New Yorker, "Daily Coronavirus Quarantine Schedule," 24 Mar. 2020 Retail associations are advising Michigan stores to no longer accept empty containers of beer, wine and soda following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Stay-at-home order means bottle returns suspended, retailers say," 24 Mar. 2020

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

29 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Container.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for container


How to pronounce container (audio)

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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