as in to hold
to have within the top drawer of the cabinet contains my stamp collection

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in to compose
to gain emotional or mental control of could hardly contain herself when she heard that she had won the scholarship

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near contain

Cite this Entry

“Contain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on contain

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