noun, often attributive
\ ˈpak How to pronounce pack (audio) \

Definition of pack

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a bundle arranged for convenience in carrying especially on the back
b : a group or pile of related objects
c(1) : a number of individual components packaged as a unit a pack of gum
(2) : container
(3) : a compact unitized assembly to perform a specific function
(4) : a stack of magnetic disks in a container for use as a storage device
2a : the contents of a bundle
b : a large amount or number : heap a pack of lies
c : a full set of playing cards
3a : an act or instance of packing
b : a method of packing
4a : a set of persons with a common interest : clique
b : an organized unit (as of Cub Scouts)
5a(1) : a group of domesticated animals trained to hunt or run together
(2) : a group of often predatory animals of the same kind a wolf pack
(3) : a large group of individuals massed together (as in a race)
6 : a concentrated or compacted mass (as of snow or ice)
7 : absorbent material (such as gauze pads) used to apply medicine or moisture or to press upon a body part or plug an opening (as to stop bleeding) — see ice pack sense 2
8a : a cosmetic paste for the face
b : an application or treatment of oils or creams for conditioning the scalp and hair
9 : material used in packing
packed; packing; packs

Definition of pack (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to make into a compact bundle
b : to fill completely fans packed the stadium
c : to fill with packing pack a joint in a pipe
d : to load with a pack pack a mule
e : to put in a protective container goods packed for shipment
2a : to crowd together
b : to increase the density of : compress
3a : to cause or command to go without ceremony packed him off to school
b : to bring to an end : give up used with up or inmight pack up the assignment used especially in the phrase pack it in
4 : to gather into tight formation : make a pack of (animals, such as hounds)
5 : to cover or surround with a pack
6a : to transport on foot or on the back of an animal pack a canoe overland
b : to wear or carry as equipment pack a gun
c : to be supplied or equipped with : possess a storm packing hurricane winds
d : to make or be capable of making (an impact) a book that packs a man-sized punch— C. J. Rolo

intransitive verb

1a : to go away without ceremony : depart simply packed up and left
b : quit, stop used with up or inwhy don't you pack in, before you kill yourself— Millard Lampell
2a : to stow goods and equipment for transportation
b : to be suitable for packing a knit dress packs well
3a : to assemble in a group : congregate
b : to crowd together
4 : to become built up or compacted in a layer or mass the ore packed into a stony mass
5a : to carry goods or equipment
b : to travel with one's baggage (as by horse)
packed; packing; packs

Definition of pack (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to influence the composition of so as to bring about a desired result pack a jury
2 archaic : to arrange (the cards in a pack) so as to cheat

Definition of pack (Entry 4 of 4)

chiefly Scotland

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Other Words from pack

Verb (1)

packability \ ˌpa-​kə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce packability (audio) \ noun
packable \ ˈpa-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce packable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pack in a Sentence

Noun He took a map and a bottle of water out of his pack. hikers carrying heavy packs up a mountain They loaded the packs onto the horses. The entire pack of crayons spilled on the floor. Cigarettes typically come in packs of 20. You'll receive your informational pack upon arrival.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Anyone who purchases, say, a six-ticket pod pack is prohibited from later selling two of those six tickets on the resale market. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Issues with SeatGeek’s new platform force Cowboys to pause sale of single-game tickets to season-ticket holders," 4 Sep. 2020 Play along and enter to win a Star Tribune prize pack. Staff Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Daily Guide, Friday, September 4," 4 Sep. 2020 This a hybrid between a weekend duffel and a backpacking pack; this summer, it's been my favorite bag to toss in some clothes and haul over short distances. Adrienne So, Wired, "16 Labor Day Camping Deals to Help You Escape to the Woods," 3 Sep. 2020 The battery pack and electric motors are sealed watertight, allowing the Jeep to safely drive through 30 inches of water. CNN, "Jeep gives us a glimpse of its new Grand Wagoneer," 3 Sep. 2020 But first, an American Airlines pilot on Sunday night called the control tower at Los Angeles International Airport to warn that his plane had just flown past someone in midair, wearing a jet pack. Rebecca Plevin, USA TODAY, "In CA: The state and federal governments' new eviction policies, explained," 3 Sep. 2020 Online sales have skyrocketed since the pandemic began nearly six months ago, putting new strain on workers who unload trucks, sort inventory and pack boxes for an average wage of about $21 an hour. Washington Post, "Overworked and exhausted, warehouse workers brace for a frenzied holiday rush," 3 Sep. 2020 Despite the high-voltage battery pack under the rear seat and cargo floor, the 4xe can ford 30 inches of water, the same as conventionally powered Jeeps. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Jeep aims to ambush Ford Bronco with silent Wrangler 4xe electric off-roading," 3 Sep. 2020 Later this year, Blink will launch a battery expansion pack for both cameras that adds another set of AA batteries to the equation. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Amazon’s new Blink Indoor and Outdoor cameras bring more value and storage options," 2 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Folks from Biloxi, Miss., to Atlanta pack out the Pynk to see two shining stars on an unforgettable night in the season finale. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch this weekend: ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ on Starz," 5 Sep. 2020 Families must pack up their most essential belongings, and their pets, to go and stay with family members or in distant hotels. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Science and steely nerves spared Houston from a nightmare hurricane evacuation," 1 Sep. 2020 Fans pack the stands in that poster and seeing that simple assumption by the artists gave me a sad chill. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Not in the mood for the Kentucky Derby? You're not alone. This year is weird and hard," 1 Sep. 2020 Every four years supporters of the Democratic and Republican parties pack convention centers and arenas to nominate their candidate for president. Maritza Dominguez, The Arizona Republic, "Gaggle Podcast: Will the Republican and Democratic conventions sway Arizona voters?," 27 Aug. 2020 Humble dirt could pack an unexpected climate punch, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. Gabriel Popkin, Star Tribune, "Global warming may release carbon in tropics," 27 Aug. 2020 Just pack the washing machine with ice and then store your food, according to ABC-13. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "The 10 most essential hurricane hacks to prepare your family for disaster," 25 Aug. 2020 In the aftermath, ASCAP executives began strategizing on how to pack the traditional three-day schedule into a virtual format. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "ASCAP's Annual Conference Went Virtual and Reached 10,000 Members: Here's What Organizers Learned," 24 Aug. 2020 Patrons can pack a lawn chair, blanket or picnic and hear music with roots in Russia, Paris, Africa and the Caribbean. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Tuesday Musical adds concerts to sold-out series," 24 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Children’s masks are sold individually or in a multi-pack, and are made for those 5 and up. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "Face masks for kids and how to buy them, according to experts," 18 June 2020

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Verb (2)

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1686, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pack


Middle English, of Low German or Dutch origin; akin to Middle Low German & Middle Dutch pak pack

Verb (2)

obsolete pack to make a secret agreement


perhaps from obsolete pack to make a secret agreement

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Time Traveler for pack

Time Traveler

The first known use of pack was in the 13th century

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Statistics for pack

Last Updated

9 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for pack


How to pronounce pack (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pack

: a bag or bundle of objects that is carried on a person's or animal's back
: a small paper or cardboard package in which small things are sold
: the amount contained in one pack


\ ˈpak How to pronounce pack (audio) \

Kids Definition of pack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bundle arranged for carrying especially on the back of a person or animal
2 : a group of like persons or things a Cub Scout pack a wolf pack


packed; packing

Kids Definition of pack (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put into a container or bundle Pack your clothes.
2 : to put things into Have you packed a suitcase?
3 : to crowd into so as to make full : cram Students packed the auditorium.
4 : to send away Parents pack children off to school.

Other Words from pack

packer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for pack


pack, cram, and stuff mean to fill something to its limit or beyond. pack may be used for the act of filling up tightly in an orderly way. Pack a trunk. Or it may mean filling up something too much. People packed the room. cram usually is used when something has been filled in a forceful, careless, or disorderly way. She crammed everything into one small box. stuff means filling something as much as it will hold and often to the point of bulging. I stuffed my bag with apples.


\ ˈpak How to pronounce pack (audio) \

Medical Definition of pack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a container shielded with lead or mercury for holding radium in large quantities especially for therapeutic application
2a : absorbent material saturated with water or other liquid for therapeutic application to the body or a body part — see cold pack, hot pack — compare ice pack
b : a folded square or compress of gauze or other absorbent material used especially to maintain a clear field in surgery, to plug cavities, to check bleeding by compression, or to apply medication

Medical Definition of pack (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover or surround with a pack packed it away from the operative field with gauze packs— R. P. Parsons specifically : to envelop (a patient) in a wet or dry sheet or blanket

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Legal Definition of pack

: to influence the composition of (as a political agency) so as to bring about a desired result pack a jury

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Comments on pack

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