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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Indiana energy costs used to be some of the lowest across the country, but now are in the middle of the pack. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 9 May 2022 The horse Rich Strike looks trapped in the middle of the pack, running 17th into the final turn, before jockey Sonny Leon angles him to the rail, where the horse becomes a Cat-5 hurricane. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 9 May 2022 The mud tends to favor stalkers—like Messier (8-1) and Epicenter (7-2)—who stay slightly off the lead or pressers—including Taiba (12-1) and Zozos (20-1)—who work from the middle of the pack for much of the race. Alex Kay, Forbes, 7 May 2022 Rich Strike spent a lot of the 1¼-mile race near the back of the pack and was still 15th after a mile. John Cherwaspecial Contributor, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2022 New Year’s Eve overcame the pack thanks to a kick down the last half-mile stretch in order to win the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 6 May 2022 Through games on April 20, Adames was 147th, middle of the pack, among all hitters in weighted on-base average on pitches down the middle of the zone. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 May 2022 Republican primary in Ohio’s open Senate race, taking him from middle of the pack in polling to first place. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, 4 May 2022 The bread test confirmed that the Weber has good middle-of-the-pack heat distribution. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Garlic scapes are more crisp than softer green garlic, and garlic scapes also pack more of a flavor punch. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 May 2022 Without hauling a heavy load, an F-150 Lightning can go 230 or 320 miles on a charge, depending on what size battery pack the customer orders. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 11 May 2022 Hilary Duff recently wore a slate gray mask from the deep hues pack while flying, and during the holidays, Bella Hadid opted for a sunny yellow mask from the electric hues set to match her sneakers. Alex Warner,, 5 May 2022 Bob Odenkirk doesn't need to pack his bags and find a new network home, because AMC is rolling out the welcome mat again. Dan Snierson,, 6 Apr. 2022 Skarsgård’s muscles are a testament to his work with Magnus Lygdback, the celebrity trainer who helped the actor pack on 20 pounds of muscle and transform into the hulking Viking warrior prince Amleth. Zack Sharf, Variety, 22 Apr. 2022 Backcountry campers and hikers may want to keep an eye toward light, compact hatchets that pack easily into a backpack or tether to a belt. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 18 Apr. 2022 Over time, as volunteers pack and unpack boxes, these items wear out, Lewis said. Jillian Price, ajc, 6 Apr. 2022 Such endorsements might pack more of a punch in political primaries, where voters are asked to choose between specific candidates of the same party, Calfano said. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 18 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Pricing starts at $54,795 for an LS model, although our favorite is the mid-pack RST trim, which can be fitted with the diesel engine as well as four-wheel drive. Nicholas Wallace, Car and Driver, 29 Mar. 2022 The result is more pack-style racing, with the drafting in practice looking eerily similar to restrictor-plate traffic jams at Daytona or Talladega. Mark Heim |, al, 20 Mar. 2022 Flatlock seams mean no irritation under pack shoulder straps. Lisa Jhung, Outside Online, 30 July 2020 At Licking Creek near Etna appeared in 1801 a black-eyed young man leading a pack horse loaded with burlap bags. cleveland, 30 Dec. 2021 It’s specially designed for kids that have grown out of a pack-n-play but aren’t quite ready for a full-sized mattress. Korin Miller, Forbes, 8 June 2021 It’s specially designed for kids that have grown out of a pack-n-play but aren’t quite ready for a full-sized mattress. Korin Miller, Forbes, 8 June 2021 The estimates do not include lone, or non-pack associated, wolves. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 June 2021 It’s specially designed for kids that have grown out of a pack-n-play but aren’t quite ready for a full-sized mattress. Korin Miller, Forbes, 8 June 2021 See More

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.

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near pack

Pacinian corpuscle



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Statistics for pack

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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


transitive verb

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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of pack

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pack

Nglish: Translation of pack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pack for Arabic Speakers


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