noun, often attributive
\ˈpak \

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)

b : wolf pack

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


verb (1)
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 in might 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 in why 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)


verb (2)
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 \ noun
packable \ˈpa-kə-bəl \ adjective

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.

Examples of pack in a Sentence


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

Game of Thrones leads the pack with the most nominations, followed by Westworld and Saturday Night Live. Vogue, "The Sweeps, Surprises, and Snubs From the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 With supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio once again leading the pack, the designs this year are more detailed and impressive than ever., "The Coolest World Cup Nail Art From Fans Around The Globe," 29 June 2018 In the Republican race, Nino Mangione, of Parkville, led the pack with 4,120 votes. Libby Solomon,, "Dems Guyton, Hebbar will face GOP candidates Mangione, Robinson in general election for District 42B," 27 June 2018 Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Christina Giunchigliani lead a pack of Democrats, and Republican Adam Laxalt, the attorney general and immigration hardliner, is expected to get the GOP nomination. Jen Kirby, Vox, "What time the polls close in the June 12 primary states," 12 June 2018 Prince George and Princess Charlotte will lead the pack as page boys and bridesmaids. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Meghan Markle Has Finally Chosen Her Bridesmaids," 16 May 2018 Four-packs of this Zwickelbier — an unfiltered, unpasteurized lager — sold for $11 at New Glory’s brewery off Folsom Boulevard. 11. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "These 15 Sacramento-area beers have the cleverest names of any released in 2018," 12 July 2018 If your goal is to get a six-pack, carbohydrates are very limited on your menu. Kimberly Garrison,, "How to get into Janet Jackson shape," 11 July 2018 And for Jennifer Lopez, that means a welcome excuse to show off her cultivated—and appropriately sun-kissed—six-pack. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez Proves She Still Has the Best Abs in Hollywood," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Do the same for the other hose, gently close the lid over the hoses, and use a piece of packing tape to secure the lid. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "8 Tips to Help You Move Like a Pro," 11 July 2018 My favorite all-purpose option is Dijon mustard, which is milder than spicy brown or classic yellow but still packs a zesty punch that pairs well with the vinegar and cuts through oil. Becky Krystal, sacbee, "Shake it up: Lots of vinaigrette options," 10 July 2018 Restaurants that currently lease space in Mifsud's buildings — think Ottava Via and Mercury Bar — are packed. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "1993 Corktown purchase sits on the edge of a jackpot," 13 July 2018 Young told Buie, who sat quietly next to her lawyer during the hearing, which was packed with the slain toddler’s relatives, including one woman who wore a shirt that said Team Kenai. Travis Andersen,, "Woman pleads guilty in beating death of 3-year-old stepson in Roxbury," 13 July 2018 After the water receded, the remnant exoskeletons turned into land that is packed with calcium. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "The prehistoric shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico is so fertile you can see it from space," 12 July 2018 The courts will be open the next day, and they will again be packed with pickleball players. Amy S. Rosenberg,, "Ocean City and the most cutthroat pickleball game at the Jersey Shore," 11 July 2018 Sign up for the Backchannel newsletter Gadgets The iPhone X is packed with some of the most cutting edge smartphone tech, including its camera. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Gadgets to Help You Shoot Pro-Quality Movies on Your iPhone," 1 July 2018 Perk Eatery Fuel up with the Red, White and Blue Pancake special ($13.99): pancakes are packed with plump blueberries and topped with fresh strawberries and sweet vanilla cream. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Happy birthday, America! 35 restaurants celebrating with Fourth of July food, drink deals," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for pack

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pack

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

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More Definitions for pack



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 \

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


\ˈpak \

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

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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