can·​is·​ter | \ ˈka-nə-stər How to pronounce canister (audio) \
variants: or less commonly cannister

Definition of canister

1 : an often cylindrical container for holding a usually specified object or substance a film canister
2 : encased shot for close-range artillery fire
3 : a perforated metal box for gas masks with material to adsorb, filter, or detoxify airborne poisons and irritants

Synonyms for canister


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Examples of canister in a Sentence

she put the store-bought cookies in a fancy canister to make them look homemade
Recent Examples on the Web Mama stones can be purchased in a starter set which includes a bamboo canister, and waste-free refills can be purchased when needed or ordered as a monthly subscription. Margaux Lushing, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Photos of the 23-year-old Richmond, California, native have permeated social media that show her taking everyday items—including a gasoline canister and a literal table—and turning them into unexpected accessories and the results are oddly enticing. Alexis Oatman, Glamour, 27 Apr. 2022 Start with a new vacuum bag or an empty canister and clean filter to make sure your vacuum’s suction is at its best to pick up the fine powder from the carpet. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 26 Apr. 2022 In James’ Philadelphia apartment, authorities found an empty magazine for a Glock handgun, a taser, a high-capacity rifle magazine, and a blue smoke canister. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2022 Ten people were shot and 19 more injured when a gunman opened fire on the 36th Street subway station after setting off a smoke canister Tuesday morning. Natasha Dye,, 13 Apr. 2022 New York City police have identified Frank R. James as the man who is suspected of unleashing a smoke canister into a crowded subway car in Brooklyn and then opening fire Tuesday morning. Graham Kates, CBS News, 13 Apr. 2022 Other items include a seismic wave firecracker, a green fuse and canister smoke, which produces white smoke. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Apr. 2022 Kenneth Foote-Smith was on the subway when a gunman detonated a smoke canister, sending commuters into panic. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canister.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of canister

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canister

Latin canistrum basket, from Greek kanastron wicker basket, from kanna reed — more at cane

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Time Traveler for canister

Time Traveler

The first known use of canister was in 1692

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can it

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Canister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for canister


can·​is·​ter | \ ˈka-nə-stər How to pronounce canister (audio) \

Kids Definition of canister

: a small box or can for holding a dry product canisters of flour

More from Merriam-Webster on canister

Nglish: Translation of canister for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canister for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about canister


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