Synonyms & Antonyms of contain

1 to have within
  • the top drawer of the cabinet contains my stamp collection

Synonyms for contain

Words Related to contain

2 to have as part of a whole
  • the contract contains several new clauses

Synonyms for contain

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Antonyms for contain

3 to be made up of
  • the recipe contains several parts

Synonyms for contain

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4 to gain emotional or mental control of
  • could hardly contain herself when she heard that she had won the scholarship

Synonyms for contain

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5 to keep from exceeding a desirable degree or level (as of expression)
  • frantic efforts to contain the spread of the disease

Synonyms for contain

Words Related to contain

Near Antonyms for contain

Antonyms for contain

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About contain

How is the word contain different from other verbs like it?

The words accommodate and hold are common synonyms of contain. While all three words mean "to have or be capable of having within," contain implies the actual presence of a specified substance or quantity within something.

the can contains a quart of oil

Where would accommodate be a reasonable alternative to contain?

The meanings of accommodate and contain largely overlap; however, accommodate stresses holding without crowding or inconvenience.

the hall can accommodate 500 people

When is it sensible to use hold instead of contain?

While in some cases nearly identical to contain, hold implies the capacity of containing or the usual or permanent function of containing or keeping.

the bookcase will hold all my textbooks

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Time Traveler for contain

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near contain




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Cite this Entry

“Contain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on contain

Nglish: Translation of contain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contain for Arabic Speakers


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