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 Unfortunately, at least two ladies, for whatever reason, put their cards in that container although the stipulations were given twice and their names were drawn and declined because of the stipulations that were announced. Hearst Television, Chron, "'Scolded us for being female': Woman says fishing trip prize taken away because she is a woman," 30 Mar. 2021 In fact, all liquid foods—from red wine to cooking oil—leave some residue in the container. H. Joachim Schlichting, Scientific American, "Ketchup Is Not Just a Condiment: It Is Also a Non-Newtonian Fluid," 12 Mar. 2021 Unfortunately, my wine only amounted to about 2.5 gallons, leaving a big gap of unfilled space in the container. Keelan Higgins, Bon Appétit, "My Pandemic Hobby Is Making Natural Wine in My Tiny Apartment," 10 Mar. 2021 Just put your roasted veggies in the container, put a top on it, fit a drillbit into the bottom of the blender and rev her up. Washington Post, "Salsa made with a drill, and more: TikTok offers glimpses of life during the Texas storm," 18 Feb. 2021 For takeout, everything has a zone in the container, which is set up almost like a bento box. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "At Lou's Takeaway in San Rafael, modern California sensibilities shine through singular comfort food," 4 Feb. 2021 Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech company in the Seaport District, has developed a swab system where students wipe the inside of their nostrils, then place the swab in a container with other samples that is shipped to a lab. Laura Krantz,, "Strength in numbers? The future of COVID-19 testing may depend on it," 22 Jan. 2021 Then re-plant in the original spot, in new spots, or in a container to share with other gardeners. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Low producing peony patch may need dividing," 13 Dec. 2020 One of the precincts could not be recounted because the number of ballots in the container did not match the number of voters in the poll book. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Votes gained, but outcome same in recount for Macomb County commission seat," 12 Dec. 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

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Container.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 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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Comments on container

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