Main definitions of box in English

: box1box2box3box4

box1

noun

  • 1A container with a flat base and sides, typically square or rectangular and having a lid:

    ‘a cigarette box’
    ‘a hat box’
    • ‘He slammed his feet down hard and rolled the boxes forward under his weight.’
    • ‘However, simply stuffing empty boxes into a green bin or tossing a used can into an environmentally-friendly container isn't recycling.’
    • ‘The crystal pieces are contemporary in style and stylishly presented in glossy white boxes with a turquoise silk ribbon.’
    • ‘The biscuits come frozen in boxes, hard as hockey pucks.’
    • ‘After hours of lugging and unpacking heavy boxes, he would freshen up, put on a jacket, and work the floor of the restaurant as wine steward until the end of the night.’
    • ‘I pulled a few boxes from the dark attic, using a flashlight, listening to the mice scurry around.’
    • ‘The presence of the dozen or so cardboard boxes was hard to miss.’
    • ‘A ripening banana put in a lidded box with green tomatoes turns them red.’
    • ‘The boxes were heavy, but Joe made it look like child's play.’
    • ‘We carry boxes along a dark, narrow corridor, that has steps up at either end, meaning that it is sunken.’
    • ‘These pastry layers tend to be towards the middle of the box and were significantly darker than the rest of the pastry sheets.’
    • ‘Instead, hens north of the Border will carry on living out their miserable lives crammed into dark, tiny boxes to boost farmers' profit margins.’
    • ‘The ground was sandy gravel and some long heavy open boxes and shelves were placed in the room and against the walls.’
    • ‘They were muscular all around from working hard all summer lifting heavy boxes for their father's moving business.’
    • ‘If there is no source of heat in the home, cover plants with boxes, heavy fabric or a material that will trap existing heat from the floor or an inner wall.’
    • ‘Officers raided the flat and seized seven boxes containing 72,000 cigarettes.’
    • ‘It also enhances your gripping power, and helps to strengthen muscles that are used in lifting boxes and other heavy items that you may encounter during household chores.’
    • ‘She didn't recall injuring herself, but she had been lifting heavy boxes.’
    • ‘Finally, my dishes, kitchen equipment and all other worldly possessions have arrived and my living room is floor to ceiling with big heavy boxes.’
    • ‘Everything nowadays comes in high quality, glossy cardboard boxes, or tins with lovely labels on.’
    carton, pack, packet, package
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The contents of a box:
      ‘she ate a whole box of chocolates that night’
      • ‘When we think of traditional food, some folks get a vision of a big bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a family box of fries.’
      • ‘Seb crossed his legs and gave me a contented smile, taking a handful of MY box of cheesy snacks.’
      • ‘This patch of earth has yielded around 20 boxes of finds as each layer of the dig took the investigators deeper and deeper into the town's past with some fascinating results.’
      • ‘I just ate a box of sweets and feel really quite sick.’
      • ‘But before I went to the party, I had to get rid of two boxes of Green Party pamphlets.’
      • ‘A box of wafers is demolished, down to the crumbs at the bottom of the wax liner, which are shaken out and inhaled.’
      • ‘We aren't content with one box of fresh berries, or one balmy day in the garden, or one vacation sometime later.’
      • ‘I plan to auction off the cards, as I have over half a box of them left.’
      • ‘I am fairly certain that cold medication was developed for moms who need to make it through the day without collapsing into a box of tissues.’
      • ‘The reason I hadn't finished this particular box of cornflakes was because my mum had recently replenished it with the contents of a new box.’
      • ‘I can't just go around frivolously spending my hard earned cash on boxes of cookies, to support an organization that has nothing to do with me.’
      • ‘Instead, I'm going to sit here and work my way through our box of 64 granola bars.’
      • ‘If someone hands you a box of chocolates and you graciously take one into your mouth and you realize you hate the flavor, what do you do?’
      • ‘Macaroni is my favorite meal but I can't eat a whole box!’
      • ‘How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?’
      • ‘But you have to be a real wizard in the kitchen to be able to turn a box of random ingredients into a meal that would not feel out of place at a fancy restaurant.’
      • ‘A gloved hand slammed merrily on a wooden table, shaking the contents on it and clattering a box of various tools to the floor.’
      • ‘When I was a kid there would always be a box of glacé fruit at Christmas which largely remained uneaten and which I would not have touched in a million years.’
      • ‘We have a stock of drinking water, washing water, a box of tinned food, biscuits, crisps, chocolates, we certainly won't go hungry.’
      • ‘We were given a box of mystery ingredients and had to come up with something in five minutes.’
    2. 1.2the boxBritish informal Television or a television set:
      ‘we sat around watching the box’
      • ‘Watch it on the box when it's hopefully been distilled into something worth watching.’
      • ‘Like millions of others in the affluent West, I have spent much of the last month glued to the box, watching as the world hurtled out of control.’
      • ‘Most people have busy and/or fulfilled lives, and lack the time or inclination to follow closely every sport on the box.’
      • ‘She merely sat curled up on the sofa, the remote for the large screen television in hand, and watched the box quietly, waiting for her friend to arise.’
      • ‘As predicted I stayed home Friday night, kicked back and watched all manner of light entertainment on the box.’
      • ‘but all I really did as a kid was play in the street and watch the box.’
      • ‘The sun was shining outside but the sports offerings on the box were simply too good to pass up.’
    3. 1.3informal A casing containing a computer:
      ‘the new model is half the cost of an equivalent IBM box’
      • ‘Unplugging and plugging back in the box didn't do anything either.’
      • ‘You don't always need to have the latest and greatest hardware (but it helps) to get the most out of your box.’
      • ‘Over here, we have the dead power supply which came out of our box, and over here we have the replacement power supply.’
      • ‘It does nothing except copy a bit of code and has no effect until the box is re-started.’
      • ‘As we've seen before, tweaking your memory times would be a good idea to get the most out of your box.’
    4. 1.4informal A coffin:
      ‘I always thought I'd be in a box when I finally left here’
      • ‘It began look like I was the product of some genetic experiment involving something kept in 3 coffin shaped boxes.’
      • ‘They stand up, slowly, then pace their dispassionate bodies toward those two coffins, coffin-like boxes.’
    5. 1.5North American vulgar slang A woman's vagina.
  • 2An area or space enclosed within straight lines, in particular:

    • ‘Diagonal lines through the boxes indicate sites of frameshifts for which the exact position of the frameshift event could not be determined.’
    • ‘They should put yellow lines and hatched boxes to make it clear where you can't park.’
    • ‘The dotted lines between numbered boxes refer to those sites known to pack together.’
    • ‘Coding regions are represented by dark gray boxes.’
    • ‘Numbered boxes indicate exons and lines indicate introns.’
    • ‘The line is fluid rather than geometric and the boxes enclose rather than constrict, like a kind of freehand Mondrian of the winter streets.’
    • ‘Mizuno et al. manipulated the attentive focus by varying the size of a central box within which a target stimulus appeared.’
    • ‘The suggested species limits are indicated by the light gray boxes.’
    • ‘Bureaucratic rivalries contributed significantly to the constantly changing landscape of lines and boxes on organization charts.’
    • ‘Some boxes were more closely spaced or had a reduced floor area, but those were excluded from the present analysis.’
    • ‘They battled against transforming spaces into white boxes.’
    • ‘Treasure Hill is one of several area courses that presents alternative tee boxes with which are within the realm of the average skills of the society players.’
    • ‘The dark boxes indicate approximate regions of centromere.’
    • ‘My so-called life as a designer means that doodles and dotted lines, boxes and arrows are the atoms of understanding I have to construct in my notebook with a black felt-tip pen.’
    • ‘The solid boxes are exons, the shaded boxes are alternatively spliced exons, and the thin lines connecting the solid boxes are the introns.’
    • ‘Flower bulbs also add much-needed color to boxes planted with shrubs and perennials.’
    • ‘Nucleotide changes which cause changes in the matrix similarity values are indicated by dark boxes.’
    • ‘Krt2 genes are shown as solid boxes overlying the horizontal line.’
    • ‘Introns are shown as straight lines connecting the boxes.’
    • ‘In an attempt to avoid the tell-tale pyramid shape, spirals, boxes and straight lines are used.’
    1. 2.1 An area on a page that is to be filled in or that contains separate printed matter:
      ‘tick the box on the coupon’
      • ‘Then click the X box in the upper right hand corner of the screen to return to the desktop.’
      • ‘In order to accomplish this, they place the links on the lower half of the page within a separate box.’
      • ‘Then there's about a million boxes to fill in, but hardly any of them apply to me.’
      • ‘They draw up the page with boxes for ads, stories and photographs.’
      • ‘At the bottom of the front page is a box stating: ‘As always, your feedback is very welcome.’’
      • ‘It was a bit of a theme among players and staff in the wake of this triumph, a result that proves Gretna tick the only boxes that matter.’
      • ‘Yes, I know that's a coy name for a database but perhaps I was feeling coy when I filled in the title box.’
      • ‘The remainder of the boxes were filled by pupils in the local Convent Primary School, children attending the playschool and also the little girls in the Brownie group.’
      • ‘You can understand the thinking: with support workers there to tick boxes and fill in forms, skilled staff would be freed up for more demanding jobs.’
      • ‘The sheet of paper was so long that i didn't bother filling out the 78 boxes but just the one.’
      • ‘None of this sways the lunatic, however, and the boxes are printed.’
      • ‘Applicants must indicate their wish to participate in this Scheme by marking the appropriate box on the front page of the application form.’
      • ‘Now they're forced to tick boxes and fill paperwork in.’
      • ‘He pointed towards one of the upper right hand corner boxes.’
      • ‘For those who have visited the site over the year and filled the comment box, thank you and keep it up.’
      • ‘Moreover, information boxes, tables, and relevant illustrations complement the material presented.’
      • ‘The boxes can also be displayed with or without a caption and colors can be customized.’
      • ‘There are forms to be filled in, boxes to be ticked, and statements to be checked.’
      • ‘The words didn't fit in the box and I filled the margins so that anyone reading the form would notice what I had written.’
      • ‘This box should include contact information for your business and company background information.’
    2. 2.2 An area on a computer screen for user input or displaying information:
      ‘a new box appears containing the names of all the programs which are opened’
      • ‘Alerts appeared on the screen, little boxes with red writing warning me of the presence of malware.’
      • ‘I've got a complex Javascript form which assembles a search string from information the user has typed into various input boxes.’
      • ‘Double-clicking on the directory brings the user to the Linux box with the test data, without realizing it.’
      • ‘Onscreen wizards guide you through the trickier tasks and hint boxes appear each time you try something new.’
      • ‘For example, users can type queries directly into the search box on the TrustWatch toolbar.’
      • ‘This landing page draws attention to the auction information boxes.’
      • ‘The computer made a sickly beeping sound and a box popped onto the screen.’
      • ‘One at a time, x's start to appear in the boxes on the screen, and you are told that every time this happens you are to push the key corresponding to the box.’
      • ‘Immediately a small box appeared on the screen requesting a password.’
      • ‘Six boxes appear on the computer screen, each of which contains a different shape designed to be difficult to describe in words.’
      • ‘Leonti stared at the information box displayed on the main monitor of the Sestuan.’
      • ‘No Linux port can run on that system unless the user opens up the box and makes alterations to the hardware.’
      • ‘The bug created a means for hackers to inject malware into vulnerable Windows boxes providing a user can be induced into viewing a maliciously constructed image.’
      • ‘In much of Europe, there is an ‘opt-in’ policy, so a visitor will have to actively click a box to say that information can be used.’
      • ‘You can move maps and informational boxes around with ease.’
      • ‘I didn't check the others, but the Opteron box was displaying a generic screensaver over a locked console.’
      • ‘Participants were asked to guess which of four identical boxes appearing on the screen had been selected by the computer.’
      • ‘It has a slider along its bottom edge, which can be used to scroll icons left and right if there are more icons than can be displayed in the box.’
      • ‘It's easy to overlook the relevant box and users can easily end up with a listing they really don't want.’
      • ‘Your password is a phrase which can be as long as you like, although the box displays about 70-odd characters at a time.’
    3. 2.3British A box junction:
      ‘do not enter the box until your exit is clear’
      • ‘They'll buy this car because it's cheap, and as a result of that, they're going to be tearing around Britain's yellow boxes and bus lanes in a genuinely very good little car.’
      • ‘The green cycle lanes and advance stop boxes at traffic lights across the city make life safer for cyclists and could well be saving lives, but accidents that don't happen don't get into the press.’
      • ‘At every set of traffic lights on the way queuing drivers blocked the cycle lanes and priority boxes.’
    4. 2.4the boxSoccer The penalty area:
      ‘he curled in a brilliant second from the edge of the box’
      • ‘Amoruso rose to meet a Ricksen corner and the ball broke in the six-yard box and Flo smacked it into the net for his 21st of the season.’
      • ‘In the 88th he appeared on the other side of the box and fired in another shot, the one that was deflected into the arms of the goalkeeper.’
      • ‘The Hearts captain, in possession, tried to check his run in the box and was bumped over by his pursuer.’
      • ‘Dargo, lurking in front of goal, couldn't make a clean connection, but the ball spun behind him to Murray on the left-hand side of the box.’
      • ‘Goal raids were frantic and the keepers were kept busy as the balls shot into the box and past the bars regularly.’
      • ‘Clydebank almost grabbed the lead in the 31st minute when their trialist wriggled free in the box, but he shot inches wide of the near post.’
      • ‘Meehan could only blast over from the left hand side of the box after Ferguson slid a precision pass through to him.’
      • ‘He carried the ball at pace from halfway towards the box before cracking a right-foot shot from 20 yards out.’
    5. 2.5the boxBaseball The area occupied by the batter:
      ‘ten thousand people booed him when he stepped into the box’
      • ‘As Podsednik stepped into the batter's box, my friend asked me if I knew anything about the guy.’
      • ‘This leaves the umpire in a position of judgment as to whether or not the batter is properly in the box at least six inches away from home plate.’
      • ‘He added to his reputation by telling all that he would hit his mother with a pitch if she walked into the batter's box.’
      • ‘He'll never be a star defensively or on the base paths, so his value will come when he's in the batter's box.’
      • ‘Carew was so prepared by the time he stepped in the batter's box that many pitchers never stood a chance.’
      • ‘He inexplicably carried the ball out of the box, dropped it and retrieved it with his hand.’
      • ‘Rice promptly pulled out his tape measure and measured the proper outline of the batter's box.’
      • ‘He will be in the batter's box facing Major League pitching every fifth day.’
      • ‘If he does, the umpire will merely direct the proper batter to take his place in the batter's box while inheriting the count.’
      • ‘His world may be a mess, but the one place he can control things is in the batter's box.’
      • ‘He felt a twinge underneath the bone while pushing off out of the batter's box and running to first.’
      • ‘The umpire called him out for stepping out of the batter's box.’
      • ‘I want to stand in the same batter's box where Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig stood.’
      • ‘With Edmonds on first base, McGwire started to move from the on-deck circle to the batter's box.’
      • ‘As a batter steps into the box, Vin tells you where he comes from, what his mother and father do, or what he likes to read.’
      • ‘It was there when things began to click and the move to the batter's box began to pay dividends.’
      • ‘Make no doubt, it's stressful in that batter's box, never more so than when you've just looked at strike two.’
      • ‘Moreno stood in the batter's box and watched the play along with the 19,517 fans in attendance.’
      • ‘What is clear is that as a result the batter's box was obliterated.’
  • 3A separate section or enclosed area reserved for a group of people in a theatre or sports ground, or for witnesses or the jury in a law court:

    ‘the royal box’
    • ‘At the root of the issue is whether Fisher is viewed as a saviour of Exiles rugby, or simply as more interested in saving his own seat in the committee box.’
    • ‘What truly matters is the revenue a stadium is able to generate, through such things as luxury boxes, personal seat licenses, and signage.’
    • ‘There will be around 18,000 ‘premium’ seats and 160 executive boxes.’
    • ‘I was seated in the celebrity box with my family and I knew half the audience in the hall there.’
    • ‘Season tickets are exchanged for small stubs of paper, with window seats available in corporate boxes.’
    • ‘Who does the NFL think is buying those high-priced seats and luxury boxes?’
    • ‘Do you worry that the affluent fans who buy the expensive club seats and luxury boxes will be quick to bail out if the game isn't as trendy in the future?’
    • ‘Do witnesses get in the box and just express an opinion?’
    • ‘Thankfully, one of the stadium staff kicked her out of our box.’
    • ‘Croke Park will raise about €22 million next year from the resale of corporate boxes and premium level seats in the Cusack Stand.’
    • ‘We took our seats in a private box, something that Julius had insisted on trying.’
    • ‘The trial was expected to last for several more years, with only the second witness currently in the box.’
    • ‘A section of boxes climbs from the stage, then rows of benches rise high up the slope of the fan-shaped amphitheater.’
    • ‘More women sat in the uncovered area on the other side of the government box, but they were much fewer in number than were the men.’
    • ‘On Wednesday the final whistle sounded and he was there, perched on the ledge of the executive box, fists punching.’
    • ‘The pair caused quite a stir when they took their seats in the VIP box at Fenway Park.’
    • ‘It could obtain the most popular seats, in the boxes and bleachers, and it did.’
    • ‘The shopping centre also boasts a 14-screen Cineworld cinema which has 3,000 seats and VIP boxes with its own waitress service.’
    • ‘Across the field, to the right, are the posh seats and executive boxes.’
    • ‘Each box has four seats and for $400 it includes the entire weekend of events.’
    1. 3.1historical A coachman's seat.
    2. 3.2British A small country house for use when shooting or fishing.
      • ‘Ahern was instrumental in retaining a much reduced Irish fishing box, much to the disgust of the Spanish.’
      • ‘The fishing behind the boxes has slowed down considerably due to the havoc caused by the seals that come into the Ridge Pool with the high tide.’
      • ‘Available at furniture, storage supply, or home stores, these boxes come with open shelves, doors, or drawers.’
  • 4A protective casing for a piece of a mechanism:

    ‘in the second variation, a switch loop, only one cable enters the box’
    • ‘Once out of its protective box, any kind of radio wave can potentially ignite it until it is inserted inside the bomb.’
    • ‘The woman named Price moves forward and brings out a small box with a red light.’
    • ‘The gear is fused into a series of thick, metallic protective boxes situated between the vehicle's passenger and driver seats.’
    • ‘Sitting upon a cushion of black foam was a head-sized piece of intricate machinery, composed of a box and three cylinders along one corner.’
    • ‘He laid it down and pressed a blue button on the mechanical box.’
    • ‘G. Rinker designed and constructed the mechanical feeding boxes.’
    • ‘Adjacent to each button on the response box was a small light used to provide feedback after each trial.’
    • ‘Underneath the boxes was a foam piece that had underneath it the clear plastic hoses for the connecting tubing.’
    • ‘Eight of the illuminating plastic road safety boxes were smashed to pieces in a frenzied attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.’
    • ‘Because SAD is caused by a lack of light, exposure to additional light from a box can help to relieve the symptoms.’
    • ‘About half a pint later the box vibrated violently, lights flashed and a voice ordered me back to the waitress, as a seat was waiting.’
    • ‘So I ring the bell at the gate and out of the box comes the voice of Moses.’
    • ‘They have been used to damage a car last week and in another incident a phone box was blown to pieces.’
    • ‘Make sure your spa comes with a protective box or panel designed to keep out rain and water from sprinkler systems.’
    • ‘The emergency shut-off device was housed in a control box situated inside the engine room crew changing room.’
    • ‘They continued on like this, until the little box attached to the wall, buzzed.’
    • ‘She removed another device, a mechanical box connected by a cord to a piece of metal with a plastic handle.’
    • ‘I just nodded and headed across the street, mechanically, holding a box that I didn't know how to use.’
    • ‘Looking quickly back at the captain I typed my 4-digit code in the box and hit enter.’
    • ‘However, a clever lever mechanism collapses its box when the hood is closed, giving reasonable luggage space.’
    1. 4.1informal
      short for gearbox
      • ‘Ford's excellent five-speed Tiptronic auto box also works well, ensuring smooth gearchanges and a suitably speedy kickdown.’
      • ‘Drop it down to second with some clunking from the sequential box, the revs rise, press the pedal to the floor and the world blurs.’
      • ‘The gear ratios of the five-speed box are well spaced and the shifting is smooth.’
      • ‘Simply plant the accelerator, try to keep pace with the gearchanges in the six-speed box and soak up the noise.’
      • ‘Bungee cords hold the stereo box to the dash, a pair of gloves and a folded shirt serve as shock absorbers between the box and the dash.’
      • ‘It's fun, it puts you back in control but you're still left longing for a manual box for the country roads.’
      • ‘Most people assume the higher the horsepower rating on the box, the better the air compressor.’
    2. 4.2British A light shield for protecting a man's genitals in sport, especially in cricket.
      • ‘He wonders why European sportsmen don't wear boxes to protect themselves from such painful eventualities, when Americans are so keen on them.’
      • ‘Cricket boxes, shin pads, and gloves are all examples of equipment that should be worn to prevent injury.’
      • ‘As we were getting changed, I noticed some of my new team-mates were putting on what looked like cricket boxes.’
      • ‘But afterwards they padded me back up and pushed me out the door again - only to discover that they hadn't put my box or thigh-pad back on!’
      • ‘I realise that Thailand is not a cricketing nation, but wonder if protective boxes are available in Pattaya.’
  • 5A facility at a newspaper office for receiving replies to an advertisement:

    ‘write to me care of Box 112’
    1. 5.1 A facility at a post office whereby letters are kept until called for by the addressee.
      • ‘He said adding boxes by enlarging the post office building is not feasible because of the costs of renovating the structure.’
      • ‘Customers will still have to wait for these boxes - possibly until mid-year, said Sun's chief marketing officer Anil Gadre.’
      • ‘After Paige went in her room, Emily looked at the box and saw a letter with her name on it.’
      • ‘Residents are being urged to help the fight against crime the next time they send a letter with the introduction of police crime boxes in post offices.’
      • ‘They scanned rows of boxes until they found what they were looking for.’
      • ‘So, the mailman too was an Arcadian, or at least paid off to do that and put the letter inside of the box.’
      • ‘The postman leaves the place mechanically dropping the letters into the boxes, which are collected by the residents leisurely, sometimes a day or two later.’
      • ‘Also in the box were some letters for Chris which had come to me by mistake.’
      • ‘Upon my return from Hobart, I was excited to have the Collingwood FC letter in the box.’
      • ‘She got a post-office box for her business to keep her home address private.’
      • ‘The Company's mailing address was a postal box near Mr. Hermitt's home.’
      • ‘They spent all day sponging blood and ink from the floor, sorting letters into their boxes, sweeping.’
      • ‘She tells him the name of a real ship and says his father is a sailor, even writing letters from this imaginary dad and sending them via a post-office box.’
      • ‘The Hope post office is staffed only 4 hours a day, but the lobby doors are unlocked around the clock so that residents can access their post-office boxes.’
      • ‘This may mean renting a post-office box without the patient's knowledge.’
      • ‘Ayako rushed down the aisles of little boxes until she reached box 884.’
      • ‘I know this because Abel and Cole always send a little letter with their boxes which tells me where everything has come from and how the farmers are getting on.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1often as adjective boxedPut in or provide with a box:

    ‘the books are sold as a boxed set’
    ‘Muriel boxed up all Christopher's clothes’
    • ‘Before you know it, the parties have ended, the gifts have all been opened, and the decorations boxed up and put away for next year.’
    • ‘Some, with sheets of printed artwork, were still in packages of fives and 10s, used to ship them in bulk from the Far East before being boxed up and sold.’
    • ‘Appalled, Karr had all the rushes boxed up again and shipped to Washington.’
    • ‘They're so used to being commodified that they're anxious to be digitally miniaturized and boxed up in video games - it's no wonder they can't coalesce as a team.’
    • ‘‘Okay, now you,’ she said as the woman boxed up her dress.’
    • ‘Because of their zany antics, the entire lot of them are boxed up and shipped off.’
    • ‘I have books (so many books) and since I had to move out of my previous home, many of them are still boxed up.’
    • ‘They were boxed up by Homebase into three parcels.’
    • ‘It's an enormous room, and it's completely covered in china that looks as if it should be boxed up and sent to the nearest car-boot sale.’
    • ‘Once they are butchered and boxed up for shipment, these whales will make their way to market where choice cuts will be sold as delicacies.’
    • ‘It was one of those memories you wish that could be boxed up with a nice red ribbon, bow and all, and give it to people as a present.’
    • ‘So they've boxed up yeast, Band-aids, film and seeds to send into space.’
    • ‘Yeah right, with all this new kitchen equipment still lying around boxed up I'm going to be willing to do that.’
    • ‘So the last of the snow has finally been boxed up and shipped off to the needy, and with it went my last excuses for not exercising.’
    • ‘We bought Chinese food for the first and last time from one of those walk-in joints with the pictures of the food above the register that never look like the grayish beige slop they boxed up for you.’
    • ‘Some of the boxes even have dates of 2001 and 2002 posted on the labels, which I hope doesn't mean the date they were boxed up and put into storage.’
    • ‘The only involvement they need is to see their belongings boxed up on their way out the door!’
    • ‘My mom, my sisters, and I boxed up photos, guns, and heirloom quilts.’
    • ‘No longer will they have to wear rubber gloves to rummage through a bin liner, now it will be clean and dry and boxed up for them.’
    • ‘And they boxed up huge numbers of documents and simply shipped them off to Qatar without actually looking through them.’
    package, pack, parcel, wrap, bundle, bale, crate
    stow, store, put away
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Enclose (a piece of text) within printed lines:
      ‘boxed sections in magazines’
      • ‘These repeated words are boxed by a thin line in the alignment on the web page.’
      • ‘Conserved sequence motifs are in boldface type and boxed with a solid line.’
      • ‘Cis-regulatory elements described in the text are boxed.’
      • ‘It is visually appealing, with cartoons, bulleted checklists, and boxed exercises breaking up short chunks of text.’
      • ‘Procedures relating to topics within the chapter are boxed in and numbered so that the reader can quickly recognize them.’
      • ‘The Walker A, Walker B, and ABC signatures are boxed.’
    2. 1.2box someone in Restrict the ability of (a person or vehicle) to move freely:
      ‘a van had double-parked alongside her car and totally boxed her in’
      • ‘But the company's application to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for six road closures has angered some residents who fear they will be boxed in.’
      • ‘The Ferrari then pulled in close in front of him, braking, while the Mercedes drew close behind, boxing him in.’
      • ‘He has boxed us in to a situation where our only solution to our go-it-alone policy might well be forced conscription of our young people, and I'm against it.’
      • ‘They tried to box her in, but she moved too quickly.’
      • ‘There's something about singing the part of an angel, or singing soubrette roles in opera, that categorises you and boxes you in, and I don't enjoy that very much when it happens.’
      • ‘Carter eventually stopped his vehicle in the slow lane after police boxed him in.’
      • ‘‘'Her trainer came out and had to help her get past them so she could get into her car,’ a source told the Daily News. ‘Then they boxed her in on all four sides.'’
      • ‘‘I think people are always trying to box you in, and I always tell my students that there is no such thing as talent, that you can learn to do anything,’ he says.’
      • ‘However, over two furlongs out it looked as though Pat Eddery had the four-year-old in trouble as he was boxed in behind early leader Zaajer, seemingly with nowhere to go.’
      • ‘It almost made him claustrophobic, having cars on either side boxing him in, the only way out behind him or in front of him.’
      • ‘To the redundant question of asking to define his style Doucet replied that ‘a style boxes you in [a painfully true statement in today's music scene] and I'm a happy student of all things combined.’’
      • ‘Never underestimate him, never try to box him in.’
      • ‘Four years later, in Sydney, Ainslie returned the favor, boxing Scheidt in on the first upwind leg and then hanging on for the overall victory.’
      • ‘I tried to push my way out and run but I was boxed in by the others.’
      • ‘If Canadians don't start thinking outside the box for themselves, they will be boxed in permanently.’
      • ‘If someone is here just to recruit students of color, it kind of boxes them in.’
      • ‘There was nowhere to move but forward, and the walls boxed me in like I was freight to be taken away.’
      • ‘Mr Reed said the other man stayed in the car but two members of the public used their vehicles to box him in.’
      • ‘Fear is the dominant weapon the establishment uses, to isolate people, box them in and keep them quiet.’
      • ‘Apparently all the cars behind Mom and Dad were pulling out and passing our little caravan, thereby boxing Buddy in.’
      hem in, fence in, close in, cage in, shut in, coop up, mew up
      trap, confine, kettle, restrain, constrain, imprison, intern, hold captive
      surround, enclose, encircle, circle, ring, encompass
      corral
      compass
      View synonyms
  • 2Australian NZ box sheep upMix up different flocks.

Phrases

  • be a box of birds

    • informal Be fine or happy.

      • ‘Apart from these ailments, I'm a box of birds most of the time.’
      • ‘‘He has never done better, he is a box of birds today,’ Marsh said.’
      • ‘According to many of the responses here I'm queer as a box of birds.’
      • ‘And by the time we went for a walk up to that waterfall that I posted pics of a bit further back I was feeling a box of birds and he was starting to drag his feet.’
      • ‘By the next morning he was a box of birds and adjusting to using his hand with a chocolate-bar-sized bandage on his small fingers.’
  • box of tricks

    • informal An ingenious gadget:

      ‘all those magical effects were produced by this little box of tricks here’
      • ‘The technology involves a small box of tricks in each customer's office or home which will process the packets of information down the phone line 40 times faster than at present.’
      • ‘We used to get a lot of inventors turn up at Northam with a box of tricks for us to look at.’
      • ‘It all smacks of pennypinching, a cheap box of tricks that may be no more effective than sticking a plaster on a severed artery.’
      • ‘The internal combustion engine reveals it secrets easily, and lends itself to modification, whereas the mobile phone is a sealed box of tricks in a barely ‘customisable’ shell.’
      • ‘However, it's planning to use this box of tricks as a entertainment hub for the home including internet phone calls and video-on-demand.’
      • ‘But it is the children's box of tricks that seems most emblematic of her surprise resignation.’
      • ‘The Claymores, though, need to unlock their box of tricks, for a loss in the German capital would leave them with a 1-3 record.’
      • ‘The result is that you feel that you are watching a clever box of tricks: theatre almost entirely reduced to a few ingenious lighting effects.’
      • ‘There is no culture shock, simply a surrender to a seductively exotic world where Elsinore is a rectangular battlement with twisting staircases and a lacquer box of tricks that slowly opens to reveal its secrets.’
      • ‘It wasn't, as coaches are fond of saying, pretty, but it was certainly effective and the visitors did score three tries straight out of their favourite box of tricks.’
  • out of one's box

    • informal Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs:

      ‘I was out of my box on sulphate’
      • ‘Quite clearly the youth of France cannot come to their senses because they are out of their box on a tequila flavoured beer.’
  • out of the box

    • 1informal Used to refer to the immediate usability or functionality of a newly purchased product, typically an electronic device or a piece of software:

      ‘most laptops come with wireless capability out of the box’
      ‘console games need to be good to go right out of the box’
      ‘the product is designed as an out-of-the-box portal for the medium to large enterprise’
      • ‘Maybe the most important aspect of any game is having it run properly right out of the box.’
      • ‘iPads have a hefty battery, and your new one likely has considerable charge out of the box.’
      • ‘Out of the box, the Freedom 2.4 looks sharp indeed.’
      • ‘Windows 7 comes with important safeguards out of the box, but it isn't hard to make it even more secure.’
      • ‘You are getting a "clean integration", no third party ads on your desktop out of the box, nothing extra on your hard drive eating up valuable space.’
      • ‘You don't need to know anything technical about any of this because the user interface and the configuration is set up properly right out of the box.’
      • ‘My wife's laptop arrived in perfect shape, worked great right out of the box.’
      • ‘That why I think it's very promising that the PS3 has dual display support out of the box.’
      • ‘It can be set up straight out of the box.’
      • ‘With any newly installed computer data backup system, don't assume everything works correctly right out of the box.’
      1. 1.1US From the very beginning; immediately:
        ‘his family memoir was a ratings smash right out of the box’
        • ‘Buckman's approach - going global right out of the box - would probably strike many as overly risky.’
        • ‘Today's high school quarterback comes better prepared to shine right out of the box.’
        • ‘We had to work pretty hard to gain some speed back that we had expected to have right out of the box.’
        • ‘To fault Mad About You for not being perfect out of the box (and it's the rare show that is) is unfair.’
        • ‘Distributors didn't think that every film had to gross $150 million out of the box.’
        • ‘You may not have this hot list out of the box, but you can hone it over time.’
        • ‘I think we had some good chemistry, you know, between the two of us right out of the box.’
        • ‘In addition, they have start paying for themselves straight out of the box.’
        • ‘I see too many publishers come in and expect to hit home runs the first time out of the box.’
        • ‘It's hard to find other producers who've enjoyed such distinguished success right out of the box.’
    • 2informal Unusually good:

      ‘the novel is nothing out of the box’
      ‘I've studied plenty of sportspeople and he is one out of the box’
      • ‘The trouble with a result like this morning's, it was so out of the box that it will in fact affect the long term trend.’
      • ‘This seriously intelligent interpretation is one out of the box.’
      • ‘The morning was one out of the box, and I sucked in great lungfuls of mountain air.’
      • ‘Though his legacy is debatable, no-one can deny that he was one out of the box.’
      • ‘He is one out of the box in his behaviour at estimates!’
      • ‘Someone who thinks he is out of the box will be constantly scrabbling for support of that belief.’
  • think outside (or out of) the box

    • informal Think in an original or creative way.

      • ‘Now, the fashion-savvy girl wants her clothes to be unplaceable rather than directional: she wants the credit for having the imagination to think outside the box.’
      • ‘He says he wants to encourage Vincentian youths to think outside the box and become pioneers.’
      • ‘A final thought… where would civilisation be now if it were not for the ‘intellectuals’; those individuals who thought outside the box, dared to challenge the norm?’
      • ‘Although dyslexic people have problems with reading, their brains are well suited for ideas and thinking outside the box.’
      • ‘Local authorities have been asked to think outside the box and bring forward imaginative and innovative projects.’
      • ‘To bring in new members, we have to be willing to try innovative ideas and think outside the box.’
      • ‘We wondered whether thinking outside the box really does enhance creativity.’
      • ‘Surely this is a time for a new ethos of leadership and people who think outside the box and foster creativity.’
      • ‘Does the institution truly value candor, thinking outside the box and innovation, or merely give lip service to it?’
      • ‘As a pioneer used to thinking outside the box, Odent demonstrates familiarity with a formidable range of subjects, from ethnography to endocrinology.’

Origin

Late Old English, probably from late Latin buxis, from Latin pyxis boxwood box, from Greek puxos (see box).

Pronunciation:

box

/bɒks/

Main definitions of box in English

: box1box2box3box4

box2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Fight an opponent using one's fists; compete in the sport of boxing:

    ‘he boxed for England’
    [with object] ‘he had to box Benn for the title’
    • ‘Ntontela who is known for his fierce fighting prowess chose to box instead of doing what he knows best.’
    • ‘Tall, rangy, smart, powerful southpaws who can box might be Roy's kryptonite.’
    • ‘How would he have done if he boxed as a cruiserweight?’
    • ‘You risk all sorts of things, even without boxing competitively.’
    • ‘McCullough's career was put on hold for over a year when he was refused a license to box by the British Boxing Board of Control following a brain scan.’
    • ‘No fighting style remains a mystery to Hopkins inside the ring and he can box with you or brawl - it does not matter.’
    • ‘He could punch or box, he had great stamina, fought the best the division had to offer and had one of the best chins in boxing history.’
    • ‘If you wanted to make a film on how to box, he would be the fighter you would want to film.’
    • ‘But when I first started to box, it had nothing to do with money or anything.’
    • ‘Why does this boy never have a chance to box overseas and fight real boxers and make real money?’
    • ‘As a child, Arguello was a street fighter, and learned how to box from a family member in Managua.’
    • ‘Again, recuperative powers allowed him to box cleanly and win the round.’
    • ‘Mnguni admitted their fight plan was to box outside and keep Jacobs at the end of his punches while effectively using the perimeter of the ring.’
    • ‘He was boxing against an opponent who had never been beaten in 45 contests and one of the hottest young boxers in Ireland.’
    • ‘They were on the table, and I wanted those fights before I boxed for the British title.’
    • ‘This man, who weighed 240 pounds and could box, had a good jab, a solid chin, and could punch.’
    • ‘Another thing they shared was the ability to box effectively while still carrying knockout power in either fist.’
    • ‘He continued to box after losing to him, but he never fully recovered.’
    • ‘When a shot is in the air, he looks immediately for an opponent to box away from the goal.’
    • ‘You have been boxing as a pro since 1992; how much longer do you think you can stay at the top?’
    fight, prizefight, spar
    View synonyms

noun

  • [in singular] A slap with the hand on the side of a person's head:

    ‘she gave him a box on the ear’
    cuff, hit, thump, slap, smack, crack, swat, punch, fist, jab, hook, knock, thwack, bang, wallop
    skelp
    belt, bop, biff, sock, clout, whack, plug, slug, whop
    slosh, dot
    boff, bust, whale
    dong, quilt
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • box clever

    • informal Act so as to outwit someone:

      ‘she had to box clever, let Adam think she had accepted what he said’
      • ‘I realise I haven't done much to boost your pensionable income lately, but you have always boxed clever financially and will have provided well for your own future.’
      • ‘Not quite running scared, but definitely boxing clever, Dods admits there were celebrations in the Inverness dressing room when the draw for this weekend's round of the Scottish Cup was made.’
      • ‘Operating strictly to Queensbury rules, they boxed clever, and their punishing alliance ended only with an error of judgement with Kay just five short of a successive three-figure profit.’
      • ‘Fencers are boxing clever in bid to make a point over funding’
      • ‘After all Holmes has been boxing clever for years.’
      • ‘‘There is no doubt they will box clever,’ he said.’
      • ‘I will not have two Mensa candidate sons end up illiterate and on the scrap heap with no education, no self respect, no hopes and no social skills because someone, possibly just one person, wants to box clever with the cash books.’
      • ‘The cut re-opened but did not seem to be worrying the IBF champion who began to box clever, picking the moment for his assaults rather dashing in every second or two as normal.’
      • ‘The opposition parties have failed to capitalise on the government's disarray and Mr Ahern has boxed clever.’
      • ‘And they seemed to help the two box clever, as George outpointed his opponent while Reg stopped his rival in the first round.’
  • box someone's ears

    • Slap someone on the side of the head, especially as a punishment:

      ‘stop hanging back or I'll box your ears’
      • ‘When I once rushed in and called her by her Christian name she boxed my ears.’
      • ‘Then he muttered about how Cor would have boxed his ears or cuffed him upside the back of the head while telling him ‘I told you pride would bite you in the butt one day.’’
      • ‘I could have boxed his ears and found some ways of permanently keeping him away from me.’
      • ‘Guess it's better than being called any of these names, but if he does it again tomorrow morning, I may reach through the camera and box his ears.’
      • ‘The Doctors fear Georgie shall be our only son, but do not say that to Anne, lest she box your ears.’
      • ‘But speaking as someone who has his intelligence insulted on a weekly basis by modern movies, there's something thrilling about a picture that boxes your ears and forces you to sit up and pay attention.’
      • ‘And if you call me peach one more time, I'm gonna box your ears.’
      • ‘‘He put a red-hot boiled potato down my back,’ explained Bill, ‘and then mashed it with his foot; and I boxed his ears.’’
      • ‘But Mr X took serious umbrage at my tinkling laughter - and wanted to box my ears!’
      • ‘If I weren't a pacifist, I would have boxed his ears.’
      cuff, strike, hit, thump, slap, smack, crack, swat, punch, jab, knock, thwack, bang, wallop, batter, pummel, buffet
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘a blow’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

box

/bɒks/

Main definitions of box in English

: box1box2box3box4

box3

noun

  • 1A slow-growing European evergreen shrub or small tree with small glossy dark green leaves. It is widely used in hedging and for topiary, and yields hard, heavy timber.

    • ‘And then as Waddley approached him, Padlin turned and raised the heavy boxwood above his head.’
    • ‘Then he filled in with small-leafed plants such as boxwood, eugenia, and Kurume azaleas.’
    • ‘The six tapestries she planted come alive with interwoven threads of color and texture from golden boxleaf honeysuckle, lavender, hebe, leatherleaf sedge, and Bowles' golden sedge bordered by dwarf boxwood.’
    • ‘The boxwood is tall enough to provide a feeling of shelter while you're sitting down, yet low enough so that you can enjoy glimpses of the beautiful bonsai beyond the hedge.’
    • ‘Our land is very flat, so I deliberately divided it up with hemlock, boxwood, and yew hedges.’
    • ‘Do you have boxwood hedges and well - pruned roses?’
    • ‘Like boxwood, this species of Alberta spruce is extremely slow growing, reaching a height of only 7 feet in 35 years!’
    • ‘Before I reach it, I hide the bag under a boxwood hedge.’
    • ‘To the front of the house, there is a formal garden enclosed by boxwood hedging while beyond there is a woodland garden and a paddock bisected by the Corrie Burn.’
    • ‘Do not let your fragrant boxwood be cut into wood for the woodworker.’
    • ‘The terrain is mostly desert, and home to drought resistant plants such as myrtle, boxwood, and wild olive.’
    • ‘A standard clipped box tree in a plain terracotta pot shows restrained good taste.’
    • ‘In an existing courtyard, the Goodmans removed an old boxwood hedge that cramped the area, tore out the lawn, and added a multilevel flagstone patio and fountain.’
    • ‘And then there's boxwood, an evergreen that has a unique, sweet scent year-round.’
    • ‘Pushing aside an interfering boxwood plant, she emerged into a small clearing.’
    • ‘Little did I expect that a, slightly worse for wear, sprig of green taken from the boxes would become a priceless Christmas moment.’
    • ‘We'd go over at twilight, when the big white house had a patina like the inside of a shell, and chase fireflies among the cypress trees and boxwood hedges.’
    • ‘Now instead of the dappled shade of an old oak outside their front door, the Beagles have a weathered brick patio on which 24 neatly trimmed boxwood globes seem to swirl in a beautifully choreographed shrubbery ballet.’
    • ‘As with the boxwood, check out the mature height of any azaleas before planting.’
    • ‘In other European countries such as Britain, the Netherlands, and Denmark, models were built primarily of boxwood and other fine-gained woods that could be bent and carved.’
    • ‘Bury the clippings several feet underground, away from your boxwood plants.’
    • ‘The Chicago Botanic Garden, a living museum, links the city and its suburbs to the world of nature in all its aspects, from the informal tall grass prairies to the prim formality of boxwood at the English Walled Garden.’
    • ‘The hues, one to a box, ranged widely, including signal red, cadmium blue and yellow ocher.’
    • ‘He intended it to be filled with roses and placed within a parterre of small flowers in radial beds edged by dwarf boxwood.’
    • ‘Wagner's ingeniousness with plot is matched by his cleverness with the recherché literary conceits - little touches that you can't help admiring, like statues in a boxwood maze, even as you hurry past.’
    • ‘Western gardeners can still have evergreen hollies, but the evergreen choices in eastern gardens are limited to spruces and Leucothes, or boxwood and Acuba in warm-region gardens.’
    • ‘The project has included the replanting of the formal garden in front of the house using boxwood, roses, catmint, lavender and clematis.’
    • ‘The Kadzik garden has two personalities, divided by the brick path and flanking boxwood hedges.’
    1. 1.1 The hard, heavy wood of the box tree, formerly used for engraving and for musical instruments.
      • ‘The Stanley Company began making rules in 1850, when Augustus Stanley founded A. Stanley & Co. to manufacture boxwood and ivory rules.’
      • ‘Netsuke were fashioned from exquisitely carved ivory, horn, amber, or boxwood and sometimes embellished with gold or silver.’
      • ‘The most common was boxwood with brass trim.’
      • ‘Equally intriguing is Shichifukujin, a netsuke of a peach carved out of boxwood that opens to reveal the stone inside.’
      • ‘I've bumped into buckets of boxwood, magnolia and holly conditioning in water in the cool pantry before she packed them into an enormous welcoming wreath on the front door.’
      • ‘There was an Italian grapevine roof, a French parterre of boxwood, lobelia, and shiny black coal, and oak columns recently dredged from Boston Harbor garlanded with a ship's hawser and clematis.’
      • ‘The shaft is made of charcoal anodised aluminium, inlaid with indigenous dark kershout (candle wood) and light boxwood.’
      • ‘The models were built with consummate skill, and created a fabulous confection of boxwood, brass, bone, ebony, gold leaf and painted details in the typical naval colours of Prussian blue and Venetian red.’
      • ‘Well, some of them have sulphur as their base compound, they're known as thials and they give smells as various as boxwood or a cat's aroma, right through to passionfruit, grapefruit and the like.’
      • ‘The hardwoods he mentions-box, cocoa - are probably short for boxwood and cocobolo.’
      • ‘The mechanism is almost entirely made of wood, with the movement, frame and wheels in oak, the pendulum in mahogany, and the spindles and pinions in boxwood.’
      • ‘Rosewood rather than boxwood was used for the single boxing, and the iron was produced by the Humphreysville Manufacturing Company.’
      • ‘He once confessed to owning the prized possessions of a superb board of bird's-eye maple and Moluccan ebony, edged in sycamore, an 1871 boxwood and ebony Staunton set, plus a chess clock by Grant's of Stamford.’
      • ‘Once in a while the really dense woods, such as boxwood and ebony can fool me, and I really have to work hard to tell the difference between Madasgar and Honduras rosewood.’
      • ‘There are 34 full-color photographs of beautiful gages made of ebony, rosewood, boxwood, mahogany, cherry, applewood, whalebone, ivory etc.’
      • ‘Famous in his lifetime and ever since, Bewick was a great miniaturist, and his ability to conjure acutely observed images of his native county out of blocks of boxwood can seem almost miraculous.’
      • ‘It is unlikely that he would have had room for boxwood from South America, even as ballast, but he might well have bought walrus ivory to sell to rulemakers.’
      • ‘This choice of materials allows us to also enjoy these measuring instruments as visual objects as well - artifacts beautifully made of fine materials such as boxwood, brass, ivory, and German silver.’
      • ‘The cross piece should be pearwood or boxwood for strong external threading, but again white oak is acceptable.’
      • ‘Because boxwood is so dense and the logs so irregular, the logs were likely handsawn with a thin blade and were probably not sawn in the up-and-down sawmill, which would create a lot of waste of this expensive wood.’
  • 2Any of a number of trees which have timber or foliage similar to that of the box tree, in particular:

    • ‘The formal approach is met by a checkerboard garden of green boxwood and gray artemisia.’
    • ‘The holly's convex, glossy leaves contrast nicely with the Korean boxwood's flat, oval, lighter green leaves.’
    • ‘Battery units are useful for touch-up pruning on fine-textured shrubs like boxwood, but they lack sufficient power for extended jobs.’
    • ‘Miles of walking trails and roads on the Arboretum's 446 acres feature native eastern deciduous trees and exceptional collections of bonsai, boxwood, and other plants and herbs.’
    • ‘She made her way through the woods, ‘past a giant temple of boxwood,’ then to the yard of 124 where ‘she sat down on the first handy place - a stump’.’

Origin

Old English, via Latin from Greek puxos.

Pronunciation:

box

/bɒks/

Main definitions of box in English

: box1box2box3box4

box4

verb

Nautical
  • 1Recite the compass points in correct order.

    • ‘The men say they could box the compass in Manx before they could box in English.’
    • ‘I've ‘boxed the compass’ over 14 miles of broken mountains with 'em and come out within 100 meters from start-point.’
    • ‘Hence a wind is said to box the compass when it blows from every quarter in rapid succession.’
    • ‘Deep Seeker reported that the wind boxed the compass from every direction except north.’
    • ‘When doing the ‘Island Looking’ exercise, an advanced student includes these ‘aimers’ among the locations to be named in boxing the compass from a given island.’
    • ‘Reciting this list is known as boxing the compass.’
    • ‘They boxed the compass between a first and a third glass of wine.’
    • ‘Captain Hess boxed the compass and Mat Upper wound it.’
  • 2Make a complete change of direction.

    • ‘At nine Captain Blethen appeared, smoking a cigar with nonchalance, and told us that the hurricane had nearly boxed the compass, and had been the most severe he had known for seventeen years.’
    • ‘On through Crick tunnel and then mile after mile of seemingly uninhabited country as we boxed the compass on the summit section towards Welford.’
    • ‘It winds, bends, turns, and often boxes the compass on its 650-mile journey to the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky.’
    • ‘My horse, Lightfoot, has boxed the compass, and it seems to me he has boxed it back again.’
    • ‘Having boxed the compass in reverse, like two parallel magnets in a swinging ship, they again faced the nightlighted hill.’
    • ‘We'll be crossing the well-known summit level which boxes the compass with a series of crazy twists and turns as it struggles to keep to its contour around the hills.’
    • ‘In general, the show boxed the compass under the four strong winds of realism, expressionism, surrealism and abstractionism.’
    • ‘On the 18th, in three hours time, we boxed the compass, and after running a little while E.S.E., we went half round it again in a bay of more than two leagues, which can be cut across at high water.’
    • ‘However, in 1989 a series of storm-force winds boxed the compass and it was these that uprooted many trees on Dartmoor.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: perhaps from Spanish bojar sail round, from Middle Low German bōgen bend, from the base of bow.

Pronunciation:

box

/bɒks/