pack·​ing | \ˈpa-kiŋ \

Definition of packing 

1a : the action or process of packing something also : a method of packing

b : the processing of food and especially meat for future sale

2 : material (such as a covering or stuffing) used to protect packed goods (as for shipping) also : material used for making airtight or watertight packing for a faucet

Examples of packing in a Sentence

We finished all our packing yesterday. I used some old newspapers for packing.

Recent Examples on the Web

These days, a typical week’s worth of trash might contain a receipt or two, fruit stickers, a wine-bottle cap, a label, an adhesive bandage and some packing tape. Victoria Adams Fogg, Washington Post, "She cut her weekly trash down so much it fits in an unbelievably small jar," 7 July 2018 Imagine a 1,300-square-foot playground structure built out of packing tape wrapped around a metal frame. Greg Burnett,, "Science center show all about sticky science and more," 20 Apr. 2018 The packing material, typically sawdust, should be heavy with moisture. Leslie Crawford,, "Short season for bare-root trees is here," 11 Jan. 2018 However, in two other states, Maryland and Michigan, partisan gerrymandering challenges are already being considered that do involve allegations of packing or cracking in particular districts. Bernard Grofman, Washington Post, "This might be the way to prove partisan gerrymandering, according to the new Supreme Court standard," 9 July 2018 What in creation was spilling over several folding tables—used ball-point pens, foil, torn newspaper, doodles, bits of paper, the contents of a wastepaper basket held together with cardboard and brown packing tape. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Old In Art School," 20 June 2018 Log in below for some lunch-packing tips and some after school snacks kids can make. Indianapolis Star, "RECIPES: To-Go Snack Recipes & Lunch Tips," 15 May 2018 After Irma, the Legislature created tax breaks on fuel used to transport agricultural products, on agricultural materials purchased for repairs and for citrus packing houses that had their businesses interrupted by the storm or citrus disease. Jim Turner,, "Candidates pitch ways to aid Florida farmers, ranchers after natural disasters," 14 May 2018 Over the last four days, the Rays, who won 80 games in 2017, sent three key pieces of their roster packing. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Retreating Rays, Carlos Gomez agree to one-year, $4 million deal," 21 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'packing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of packing

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about packing

Statistics for packing

Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for packing

The first known use of packing was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for packing



English Language Learners Definition of packing

: the act or process of putting things into bags or boxes

: material that is used to hold or protect things so that they can be moved or sent somewhere


pack·​ing | \ˈpak-iŋ \

Medical Definition of packing 

1 : the therapeutic application of a pack hemorrhage…could not be controlled by suture or packingJournal of the American Medical Association

2 : the material used in packing

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on packing

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


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!