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

Firefighters battling the Sand Fire in Yolo County made progress Sunday night, increasing containment to 30% by Monday morning while the size of the blaze remained the same, officials said. Ashley Mcbride,, "Firefighters make progress in battling Sand Fire, Malech Fire," 10 June 2019 Meanwhile, firefighters continued to build containment around several destructive wildfires burning in California, though one stubborn blaze in the northern part of the state grew significantly and crossed the border into Oregon. CBS News, "Man finds rings in ashes of home burned by wildfire, proposes again," 9 July 2018 The plant began operating in 2016 but has experienced a series of problems, including a leak in a storage tank, a tear in a spill-containment liner at another tank and vibration in pipes that threatened to damage pumps. Washington Post, "US resumes destroying obsolete chemical weapons in Colorado," 13 June 2018 The Modi government is determined to make sure that the containment of China—and not of Russia—is the ultimate focus of the Indo-Pacific strategy. Vinay Kaura, Time, "Strategic Ties Between India and the U.S. Are Growing. But Russia Is a Stumbling Block," 11 June 2018 The bomb sent to CNN’s office was removed by the NYPD using a total containment vessel (TCV), a giant sphere made of lead and steel that’s pulled by an NYPD truck. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Technology of Pipe Bombs and Suspicious Packages, Explained," 25 Oct. 2018 The island will be shut to visitors for up to six months while sewage containment and other work is done to clean up the waters President Rodrigo Duterte had called a cesspool. Washington Post, "Workers head home, look for other jobs as Boracay closes," 26 Apr. 2018 The island is being shut for up to six months while sewage containment and other work is done to clean up waters the president called a cesspool. Joeal Calupitan, Fox News, "Workers head home, look for other jobs as Boracay closes," 26 Apr. 2018 The administration’s China hawks have been increasingly vocal recently, pushing the idea of containment. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "A China Trade Deal or a New Cold War?," 13 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for containment

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for containment

The first known use of containment was in 1655

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on containment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with containment

Spanish Central: Translation of containment

Nglish: Translation of containment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of containment for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about containment

Comments on containment

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behavior toward others

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