un·​pack ˌən-ˈpak How to pronounce unpack (audio)
unpacked; unpacking; unpacks

transitive verb

: to remove the contents of
unpack a suitcase
: unburden, reveal
must … unpack my heart with wordsWilliam Shakespeare
: to remove or undo from packing or a container
unpacked his gear
: to analyze the nature of by examining in detail : explicate
unpack a concept
: decompress sense 2
unpack a compressed file

intransitive verb

: to engage in unpacking a container
unpacker noun

Examples of unpack in a Sentence

It's been a year since I moved here and I still haven't unpacked all of my books. I unpacked my suitcase as soon as I arrived home. By the time we got to the hotel, I was too tired to unpack. She's good at unpacking complex concepts.
Recent Examples on the Web The cubes are lightweight and easy to pack and unpack. Kristine Thomason, Travel + Leisure, 9 Feb. 2024 These hanging packing cubes are the perfect way to unpack the lazy way. Hyphensocial Contributors, Rolling Stone, 7 Feb. 2024 Those with serious hoarding problems need professional intervention to unpack the problem. Marni Jameson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer George Fisher helped Boggan work through legal issues, and a group of Fish and Game biologists spent a day at Boggan’s place unpacking, documenting and pinning the horns. Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 With insight from her children and friends like Emmylou Harris, the new Paramount+ documentary June (now streaming) unpacks the late musician’s storied career, from her early days singing with her sisters to her legendary romance with Cash — and all of the ups and downs in between. Rachel Desantis, Peoplemag, 19 Jan. 2024 Meet Up will offer like minded SXSW-goers a chance to explore, unpack, and discuss the latest scientific research and therapeutic applications of mind-altering substances, along their potential perils, while considering their rightful role in society and medicine. Miami Herald, 29 Jan. 2024 Two very different sides of ’80s music were on display on Friday night, as Bryan Adams delivered his straight-ahead brand of roots rock and Dave Stewart unpacked the highly stylish Eurythmics songbook at the SAP Center. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, 27 Jan. 2024 This feels like a lot for Lana enthusiasts to unpack. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 18 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unpack.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of unpack was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near unpack

Cite this Entry

“Unpack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unpack. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​pack ˌən-ˈpak How to pronounce unpack (audio)
: to separate and remove things packed
got home and unpacked
: to open and remove the contents of
unpack a trunk

More from Merriam-Webster on unpack

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