1 of 2


plural crates
: an open box typically of wooden slats or latticed plastic and used for transporting and storing goods
a crate of oranges
see also milk crate
: a usually wooden protective case or framework used for shipping
a packing crate
She purchased ten shipping crates made with wood edges and plastic-covered cardboard sides, all neatly broken down for easy assembly.Tom Clancy
: a usually box-shaped container or cage that has openings for airflow and that is used for confining or carrying animals (such as dogs or cats)
The store carries a variety of pet crates.
Teach children to let resting dogs lie and to stay out of dog crates, beds and other resting places that are designated for the dog.John Elder
informal + somewhat old-fashioned : a dilapidated old car or airplane
George Bernard's most immediate concern is not the war, but his failing car battery. He can hardly get his old crate cranked up, and a new battery costs $300 …Phil McCombs
From Blake: "I am not sure this crate will fly. Dump everything out." … In our compartment Doug yanks up his bombing sight, opens the floor hatch and tosses it.Williamson Murray


2 of 2


crated; crating; crates

transitive verb

: to pack or place in a crate
crating items for shipping
Of course the ideal answer would seem to be to crate the dog. But with so many cars now being overly small, there may be no way to get a crate into a vehicle.Eleanor Price

Examples of crate in a Sentence

Noun The bear arrived at the zoo in a crate. Each milk crate holds nine bottles. They used a crate of oranges to make enough juice for everyone. One day the old crate just wouldn't start. Verb The equipment was crated today and will be shipped tomorrow.
Recent Examples on the Web
In the living room, crates and Styrofoam boxes containing artisanal F.P.V.s were stacked from floor to ceiling. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 All the team’s equipment was packed up in crates headed for our nation’s capital, and 1973 baseball cards had the Padres in Washington. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2024 Supplies taken in wooden crates are rejected outright regardless of what is inside, Nossair said. Charlene Gubash, NBC News, 30 Mar. 2024 For example, the ARK once received a group of venomous reptiles for shipment, stored in crates, that had flown in from another country. Claire Fahy, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2024 Mikki and Punch will be transported to the sanctuary in large crates. Becca Longmire, Peoplemag, 14 Mar. 2024 Disney hopes that their Judy Hopps robot will soon be able to use the help of a robotic tricycle, crate, or skateboard to enable new forms of locomotion. IEEE Spectrum, 11 Feb. 2024 Dogs aren’t wired to instinctively love their crates. Kelly Conaboy, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2024 On Friday morning, a group of workers and volunteers from her organization gathered around a conference table at the ARK’s offices to discuss crates and harnesses. Claire Fahy, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2024
Still, the virtue of crate training puppies is espoused here in the United States, where crating often continues into a dog’s adult life. Kelly Conaboy, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2024 These snakes were so big that, once crated, a forklift had been needed to move them. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 He's forced to climb from crate to crate to get back to safety. Nick Romano,, 21 Oct. 2021 This formula is crated to help with hydration and moisturizing for all skin types. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 21 Jan. 2024 The five celebrities — two pairs of juvenile siblings from two Oregon packs and an adult from a third pack — were shot with tranquilizers from helicopters Sunday, then crated and flown east. Karin Brulliard, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2023 Five wolves — two juvenile females, two juvenile males and an adult male — with a mix of black and gray coats were examined, tested, crated and collared, and then flown to Colorado by volunteer pilots. Anna Kramer, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2023 These days, the balloons are simply deflated, crated and stored in New Jersey once the parade ends. Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 Works are crated, unpacked, installed, sold (or not), and shipped out to the buyer. Vulture, 5 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Latin cratis

First Known Use


1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crate was in 1790

Dictionary Entries Near crate

Cite this Entry

“Crate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a box or frame of wooden slats or boards for packing or protecting something in shipment


2 of 2 verb
crated; crating
: to pack in a crate

More from Merriam-Webster on crate

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