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 The fire grew to 54,000 acres as of Sunday night, and containment dropped to 5%. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Distressed state: Fires, smoke and outages keep Bay Area, California on edge," 28 Oct. 2019 California officials said Sunday the expanding fire had burned over 85 square miles in Sonoma County, and officials reported containment had dropped to 5 percent., "In the San Francisco Bay Area, two grass fires briefly halted traffic on an Interstate 80 bridge and came dangerously close to homes in Vallejo. Another grass fire closed a stretch of the interstate that cuts through the state capital as smoke obstructed drivers.," 28 Oct. 2019 Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby says there is no containment of two blazes that are threatening communities in the Santa Clarita area. Hillary Leung, Time, "Kincade Fire: Latest on Sonoma County Wildfires," 24 Oct. 2019 Quick containment is pivotal, particularly for the district’s 66 unvaccinated children, or those who have claimed a permanent medical exemption and are missing at least one vaccination. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "State says Burbank Unified’s kindergartens are ‘safe’ in defending against disease outbreaks," 6 Aug. 2019 The Galápagos Park said some of those actions included placing containment barriers and absorbent cloths into the water to restrict the diesel fuel from spreading. Joelle Goldstein,, "600 Gallons of Oil Spills Off Galapagos Islands After Ship Overturns, Threatening Wildlife," 23 Dec. 2019 In one example of how any pause can sharply affect Ebola containment efforts, WHO has said no one in Beni could be vaccinated against the virus on Monday., "Rebel attacks in eastern Congo kill several Ebola responders - The Boston Globe," 29 Nov. 2019 In one example of how any pause can sharply affect Ebola containment efforts, WHO has said no one in Beni could be vaccinated against the virus on Monday. Fox News, "Ebola response workers killed in armed attacks in eastern Congo: UN," 28 Nov. 2019 Crews had no containment of the fire on Wednesday night, while mandatory evacuation orders remained in place for 30,000 people. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "Easy Fire near Los Angeles spared the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. It's still threatening 7,000 homes," 31 Oct. 2019

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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Containment.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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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Comments on containment

What made you want to look up containment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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