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)
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 "… packing a court, increasing the number of justices so you can get a desired outcome. … "— Andy Biggs — see also court-packing, pack the court
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 pack (audio) \ noun
packable \ ˈpa-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce pack (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 Anker, of battery-pack fame, makes some of the WSJ Personal Tech team’s favorite smartphone accessories. Nicole Nguyen, WSJ, "Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones and Earbuds From $50 to $130: Good Sound With a Trade-Off," 28 Feb. 2021 Ideas include finding a way to flip the dog over, grab the hatch for the battery pack, and remove the doggo's lithium-ion power. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Security News This Week: The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA," 27 Feb. 2021 An all-wheel-drive model is coming later on with an additional motor up front to produce a total of around 300 horsepower, and a cheaper version with a smaller battery pack will also join the lineup eventually. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Achieved 190 Miles of Range in Our Testing," 26 Feb. 2021 Maybe even more impressively, when equipped with the extended battery pack the EV can go 517 miles on a single charge, which, notably, is over 100 miles more the current industry leader, the Model S Long Range. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "The 1080 HP Lucid Air EV Will Be Delayed Until the Second Half of the Year," 26 Feb. 2021 If needed, the battery pack can generate around 500 Watts, Balaram says. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the First Helo on Mars: A Deep Dive Into What Makes Ingenuity So…Ingenious," 20 Feb. 2021 Another fatal wreck in South Florida, in 2018, led the family of a teenage victim to sue Tesla, alleging the battery pack was defective. Washington Post, "A Tesla Model S erupted ‘like a flamethrower.’ It renewed old safety concerns about the trailblazing sedans.," 28 Dec. 2020 Another fatal wreck in South Florida, in 2018, led the family of a teenage victim to sue Tesla, alleging the battery pack was defective. Dallas News, "A Tesla Model S erupts in flames in Frisco, sparking new concerns about safety of older electric batteries," 28 Dec. 2020 Apple’s battery technology, which frees up space inside the battery pack to allow for a greater range for a vehicle, has been described as groundbreaking. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Apple aims to build consumer vehicle in 4 years: Report," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What to bring: Wear good hiking shoes and be sure to pack plenty of water for the trail. Patrick Connolly,, "Florida Fresh Air: Black Bear Wilderness Area supplies scenic, strenuous hike," 26 Feb. 2021 The children helped pack up the devices for mailing. Katy Read, Star Tribune, "Carbon monoxide poisonings in Houston hit Twin Cities radio personality close to home," 20 Feb. 2021 Within 24 hours of putting out a call for community volunteers to help pack the bags, more than 50 people had expressed interest, said Niles Senior Center Program Coordinator Jaymi Blickhahn. Jennifer Johnson,, "Niles Senior Center recruits volunteers to fill Center of Concern COVID-19 care packages," 21 Jan. 2021 Most of the confetti will fall to the ground, landing on the shoulders of just a few hundred partygoers rather than the one million who typically pack the streets for the new year. Washington Post, "Out with the old, in with the few: How the pandemic changed New Year’s Eve," 31 Dec. 2020 About 50 households have evacuated, and Haines officials told many more to pack bags and be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Haines landslide zone remains too unstable for teams seeking 2 people missing," 7 Dec. 2020 On the property, in addition to stacks and stacks of crates, buckets and shovels, there are also cardboard boxes to pack food for community groups, each one labeled in marker: Church. Julia Turshen, New York Times, "Magic in the Dirt," 30 Oct. 2020 Five years ago, Mazzone, then offensive coordinator at UCLA, began recruiting Hansford to pack his bags on the East Coast and head for the West Coast. Brent Zwerneman,, "Aaron Hansford proves to be a good catch at linebacker for A&M," 27 Oct. 2020 Limited services are available in the canyon, and authorities urged people to fill their gas tanks and pack enough supplies for their trips. oregonlive, "Oregon 22 to reopen in Santiam Canyon; over 30K hazard trees removed along 40-mile stretch," 13 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Pre-pack filings have become pretty widespread, but this chapter 11 filing has to be viewed as a major success, especially considering the perilous times many retail chains find themselves in these days. Warren Shoulberg, Forbes, "Belk Becomes The In-And-Out Of Bankruptcy," 25 Feb. 2021 Masks are sold individually or in a multi-pack, as well as in a selection of colors. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "12 bestselling face masks we covered in 2020," 23 Dec. 2020 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)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Verb (2)

1575, 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

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on pack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pack

Nglish: Translation of pack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pack for Arabic Speakers

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