con·​tain·​ment | \ kən-ˈtān-mənt \

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

The Woolsey Fire has burned 91,500 acres so far with 20 percent containment. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Deadly wildfires are still threatening Northern and Southern California," 12 Nov. 2018 Full containment of the largest-ever California wildfire that's burning about 120 miles (264 kilometers) north of San Francisco still is weeks away, but suppression work is in full gear and could last months. Jonathan J. Cooper, Fox News, "Firefighting mars the earth. California crews are fixing it," 15 Aug. 2018 At the same time, containment of the blaze increased to 25% by Wednesday morning, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Joseph Serna,, "At least 2,700 firefighters are working to contain California's first big fire of the year," 27 June 2018 The fire has grown to nearly 152 square miles (393 square kilometers), but containment also increased to 40 percent. Amanda Lee Myers, The Seattle Times, "Southern California wildfire roars to life in wilderness," 13 Nov. 2018 Perhaps predictably, the responses split across party lines: Republicans told me there’d been more, and more effective, behind-the-scenes containment of Trump than people realized. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The fall of the not-quite-Trumpers," 6 Nov. 2018 The fire in a mountain area near a popular fishing reservoir grew to about 78 square miles (201 square kilometers) but containment also increased, authorities said Monday. Colleen Slevin, Fox News, "Illegal fires ignite massive Colorado blazes, spur arrests," 10 July 2018 The Woolsey Fire in Ventura County, thankfully, is at 82 percent containment as of Friday night, and the Hill Fire has been completely contained. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Queen Elizabeth Sent a Message of Support for Meghan Markle's Home State of California," 17 Nov. 2018 Fire teams have been able to shift their resources to the Ranch Fire, which stands at only 20 percent containment. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Raging California Blaze Becomes Largest Wildfire in State's History," 7 Aug. 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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Last Updated

11 Jan 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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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

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