con·​tain·​ment | \ kən-ˈtān-mənt How to pronounce containment (audio) \

Definition of containment

1 : the act, process, or means of keeping something within limits the containment of health costs
2 : the policy, process, or result of preventing the expansion of a hostile power or ideology

Examples of containment in a Sentence

The company's hazardous waste containment plan is being reviewed. The government needs to adopt a containment strategy.
Recent Examples on the Web Later, fire officials said crews were making progress battling the flames, as containment lines were built around most of the fire. David Aaro, Fox News, "California's Erbes Fire burns across 250 acres, prompting evacuations," 15 Jan. 2021 Thomas Shoots said calm winds allowed crews to build stronger containment lines on Saturday. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brush fire in Fallbrook that charred more than 4,200 acres 90 percent contained," 26 Dec. 2020 Firefighters continued to look for and mop up hot spots while clearing more vegetation around the fire and shoring up the containment lines, the fire agency said. City News Service, Los Angeles Times, "7,300-acre Bond fire in Orange County is 50% contained," 6 Dec. 2020 Winds are forecast to weaken overnight to between 20 and 25 mph, and firefighters are hoping to use that time to build containment lines around the fire, Cal Fire said in the update. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Nearly 70,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders as two new wildfires in Southern California spread rapidly," 28 Oct. 2020 The strategy for the Horse Fire is full suppression as fire crews continue using aircraft to slow the rate of the spread and scout for holding features to use as containment lines, the release said. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Crown King residents ordered to evacuate as Horse Fire grows to 3,500 acres," 16 Oct. 2020 The government is focusing on containing the spread of the virus in containment zones where nonessential services have been prohibited until the end of October. Adam Martin, WSJ, "New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Fall Below 40,000 for First Time in a Week," 5 Oct. 2020 Winds were blowing at higher elevations on the western side of the fire and crews expected a long battle to keep flames from jumping containment lines and spot fires from leaping ahead to spark new blazes. Olga R. Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "California wildfires approaching fearsome milestone: 4 million acres burned," 2 Oct. 2020 And the Bay Area weather forecast for the near future is foreboding, including strong winds and scorching heat that could propel the Glass Fire past containment lines. Annie Vainshtein,, "Fire-stricken Bay Area desperately needs rain. We might get some soon," 1 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'containment.' 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 containment

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for containment

contain + -ment

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Time Traveler for containment

Time Traveler

The first known use of containment was in 1655

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Statistics for containment

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Containment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce containment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of containment

: the act of preventing the spread of something
: actions that are intended to keep an unfriendly government from getting more power

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