Main definitions of pack in English

: pack1pack2



  • 1A small cardboard or paper container and the items contained within it.

    ‘a pack of cigarettes’
    • ‘And guess how much a pack of 10 chicken wings costs in here?’
    • ‘Frank noisily rummages around a drawer and gets a pack of cigarettes and lights one.’
    • ‘I'd quite forgotten the thrill of opening a pack of real paper prints and strips of real negatives.’
    • ‘A pack of papers fell out into her lap, along with a single letter.’
    • ‘An iPod can store up to ten thousand songs in a gleaming white box smaller than a pack of cigarettes.’
    • ‘It comes in a flip-top box resembling a pack of Marlboro cigarettes.’
    • ‘Moose brought in a coffee can full of pens and a pack of loose-leaf paper.’
    • ‘The door to the apartment opened and Mr. Walker walked in carrying two bags of groceries and a separate bag with a pack of diapers in it.’
    • ‘He pulled a pack of sugar out of the container and tore a side off of it.’
    • ‘Julie handed me a large piece of paper divided into four parts and a pack of pencil crayons.’
    • ‘Hidden by accident under a bag of compost the assistant hadn't bothered to shift there was a pack of two earthenware wall hanging pots, the kind with one flattened side and a hole to take a wire fixing.’
    • ‘A pack of four 100g boxes in the city centre costs £1.55, while just a few minutes down the road the price is £1.39.’
    • ‘Normally, when you buy a pack of batteries, the package will tell you the voltage and current rating for the battery.’
    • ‘I put the ashtray in the center of the coffee table and reached into the carton under the table to grab a pack of Marlboro Menthols.’
    • ‘A loaf of bread would be £1.58, a first class stamp £1.13 and a pack of batteries £21.89.’
    • ‘If it doesn't contain a toy or a gadget, a pack of felt-tipped pens and a chocolate bar, it's not worth its salt.’
    • ‘I collected my pack of cigarettes from the crate, shoved them in my back pocket and hoisted the garbage bag over my shoulder.’
    • ‘I picked up a battery charger and a pack of rechargeable AAA batteries.’
    • ‘Also, if your choice for the best three stamps corresponds with the choice of the majority of participants, a collector's pack of stamps awaits you.’
    • ‘He checked his watch and walked to his dresser again for one more look before grabbing his wallet and a pack of mints.’
    packet, container, package, box, crate, carton, parcel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A quantity of fish, fruit, or other foods packed or canned in a particular season.
      • ‘Because of extremely low production in several of the major fisheries, the pack of canned fish in the United States and Alaska during the first nine months of 1946 was eight precent below last year, Milton C, James, Assistant Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, announced today.’
      • ‘First season's pack was 350 cases of fruit and tomatoes.’
  • 2A group of similar things or people, especially one regarded as unpleasant.

    ‘the reports were a pack of lies’
    • ‘She gestured towards the pack of hollering boys who had their shirts off with body paint painted across their bodies.’
    • ‘In plush surroundings trimmed with red carpet, the cliques of minor celebrities gather in small, self-congratulatory packs, wine in hand.’
    • ‘If you're trying to get attention and separate yourself from the pack, picking a good name is one of the best moves you can make.’
    • ‘Given the choice, she would rather have been anywhere but facing the press pack last night.’
    • ‘The ‘Tipton three’ may be telling a pack of lies, but this affair is so murky and so many backs are being covered that it is very difficult to form any kind of coherent judgement.’
    • ‘The young often express their reverence by gathering in odorous packs and yelling loudly at bus stops.’
    • ‘Crowds, especially crowds that become hunting packs are very frightening.’
    • ‘Perhaps, in spite of the fact it's a pack of virulent lies, my response really will make a measurable difference in the quality and value of the products I buy every day.’
    • ‘It's fun, but not distinctive enough to stand out from an increasingly crowded pack of action titles.’
    • ‘Just as predictably, the media pack has chased right behind the politicians.’
    • ‘I smiled and grabbed the food going into the next room to join the pack of friends that were partying.’
    • ‘Suddenly there is a commotion - a pack of motorcycles.’
    • ‘I gather up my trash and head back inside behind the pack of students.’
    • ‘Padlin stumbled into the pack of bettors clustered at the waist-high fence.’
    • ‘Carolina's offense, however, ranks near the middle of the pack in most offensive categories.’
    • ‘Eriksson might have been wise during that press conference to have reminded the assembled pack of an old saying: those who shout loudest often have the least to say.’
    • ‘Outside the elite, the next 10 teams all appear able to beat each other on any given day and this has kept a whole pack of teams in a relatively close bunch.’
    • ‘Inside the show, it's one giant gang hug as packs of happy fans pose for snapshots with half-dressed porn stars.’
    • ‘Politicians are terrified by the prospect of the massed contempt of a pack of vociferous snobs; and so we get the sorts of public architecture and sculpture we get.’
    • ‘There is such a great diverse and talented pack of bands here in the Twin Cities.’
    1. 2.1British A set of playing cards.
      • ‘In some packs, the king of hearts is shown with a beard.’
      • ‘When the pack is used up, all the played and discarded cards are gathered and shuffled to form a new pack to deal from.’
      • ‘The dealer shuffles and offers the pack to his right hand neighbour to cut.’
      • ‘Once all the cards in the pack have been dealt, it is impossible for any more hands to be dealt.’
      • ‘A joker can represent any card of the pack, at the choice of the person who plays it to the discard pile.’
      • ‘The Joker is either the highest or lowest card in the pack again at the whim of the person playing the card.’
      • ‘The entire pack is dealt out, giving twelve cards to each player.’
      • ‘Under certain conditions you can win the pile, and the object is to collect the whole pack of cards.’
      • ‘The whole pack is then placed face down in the centre of the table and the players take turns to draw cards one at a time from the top of the pack.’
      • ‘There are a few examples where a tarot pack is used to play a game which is not really of the tarot family.’
      • ‘Canasta is normally played with two standard 52 card packs plus four jokers (two from each pack), making 108 cards in all.’
      • ‘When the whole pack has been dealt and the players have played their last four cards the play ends.’
      • ‘Before each deal, there should be a shuffled pack lying face up at the new dealer's left.’
      • ‘Some play that after the cut, the dealer looks at the bottom card of the pack.’
      • ‘Saltation's iPod Geek Tips #2: how to make a battery pack inside a pack of playing cards. superpixel's superpod tips.’
      • ‘Deal out one card at a time to each player until the whole pack has been dealt.’
      • ‘As each player folds, that player's cards are added to the bottom of the pack ready for the next deal.’
      • ‘In fact, Jass became so popular that the word Jass came to be used for any card game played with the Swiss pack.’
      • ‘After the cards have been shuffled, each player draws a card from the pack.’
      • ‘The game is played with one joker only in the pack.’
    2. 2.2A collection of related documents.
      ‘an information pack’
      • ‘A walk pack including information and a sponsor form will be sent to you.’
      • ‘He denied having any part in writing the information packs and advertisements and said they were largely available when he arrived.’
      • ‘Those schools who could not attend can collect their resource pack at the Carlow Enterprise Board office.’
      • ‘I would be pleased to send an information pack to anyone interested in this worthwhile scheme.’
      • ‘Information packs on fireworks laws have been sent to all licensed retailers, and illegal traders have been warned they will be stopped.’
      • ‘An information pack was sent to my home before the trial but I didn't understand all of it.’
      • ‘The class sent away for a fundraising pack and received information and ideas as to how they could raise E1,000.’
      • ‘These are now planning public meetings, mass leafleting, education packs and street stalls to let as many people as possible know about the upcoming protests and events.’
      • ‘They will be accompanied by an information pack and sticker with the next two years' collection details.’
      • ‘The Pier Hotel at Harwich is already involved, and historical packs with information on the town will also be sent out to potential clients.’
      • ‘Nomination details are set out in an information pack.’
      • ‘Information packs on the 2005 awards entry forms have been sent to schools and youth groups.’
      • ‘The charities which benefit from the events have provided visiting speakers and information packs outlining their work and needs.’
      • ‘A council has been forced to reprint 16,000 postal voting packs after the first batch was declared null and void due to an administrative error, it emerged today.’
      • ‘For classes, some books go on reserve, some materials go into course packs, and some copied excerpts are handed out in class.’
      • ‘The tree warden has an information pack and will be meeting the conservation/landscape office to discuss ideas.’
      • ‘However, the Minister recently expressed grave concern at the low uptake rate and launched an information pack in a bid to boost parent confidence.’
      • ‘We are going to make an information pack and appoint a pupil who will make sure supply teachers have any resources they need.’
      • ‘More than 60 potential buyers have signed confidentiality agreements and 37 have received information packs.’
      • ‘When your entry fee is received you will be sent an information pack confirming your venue for the first round and giving you lots of details about Westport and this great event.’
    3. 2.3An organized group of Cub Scouts or Brownies.
      • ‘At the beginning there were just two Brownie Packs and two Girl Guide companies with two leaders for each group.’
      • ‘Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys.’
      • ‘Troops and packs taking part must be registered by their leader by February 10.’
      • ‘Scout leaders say they feel badly let down and are concerned that if the individual packs continue to meet away from their home, their sense of group identity will disintegrate.’
    4. 2.4Rugby A team's forwards considered as a group.
      ‘I had doubts about Swansea's pack at the beginning of the season’
      • ‘Their pack won the forward battle hands down but it was period immediately before the break that ultimately decided the match.’
      • ‘The forward packs from both teams appear to be where the strength lies.’
      • ‘The foundation of the Huddersfield success was a heavy pack with a powerful back row linking with well-organised half-backs.’
      • ‘A forward from the pack should lead the team and spur them on.’
      • ‘It's easy to make parallels between the back rows but really a back row is only as good as the forward pack in front of it.’
    5. 2.5The main body of competitors following the leader or leaders in a race or competition.
      ‘Price broke from the pack to pursue him’
      figurative ‘Japanese cars are ahead of the pack in this category’
      • ‘If you can teach your players the proper footwork, you'll be light years ahead of the pack.’
      • ‘Being on her home turf, health spokesperson Liz McManus was leader of the pack as they strolled down the main street.’
      • ‘I could qualify near the bottom of the pack at the next race; you never know what's going to happen.’
      • ‘Three times during the race, Martin charged from the back of the pack to the front, and his reward was a fifth-place finish.’
      • ‘Bell, which makes savoury pies, pastries and cakes at bakeries in Shotts and Livingston, leads the pack of interested parties.’
      • ‘In short, the most dominant team is the team that stood out the most from the pack in a given season.’
      • ‘He might have been an outsider at school, a short lad who learnt to fight to escape bullying, but gritstone became the arena where he could prove himself to be ahead of the pack.’
      • ‘Kaneb offers his thoughts on what sets Hood apart from the pack.’
      • ‘But most believe Smith's ability will be enough to push him to the front of the pack early in the season, if not by the start of the year.’
      • ‘He is that, all right - the undisputed leader of the pack.’
      • ‘Rudi's Pet pulled out of the pack with two furlongs to go for a two-length victory.’
      • ‘Candace Parker and Courtney Paris seem to have pulled ahead of the pack in the race for freshman of the year.’
      • ‘Some leaders are looking for business tools to help them break away from the pack.’
      • ‘On a short track the objective is to clear traffic as quickly as possible, so much so that the leaders often will take an outside line to get into the corner ahead of the pack.’
      • ‘The Liberator 1, while late to the party, can't be easily dismissed from the pack of competitors seeking to win the prize.’
      • ‘He is somehow in 8th overall, even though the rest of the pack had raced away after he fell.’
      • ‘At the moment he is the leader of the pack, indisputably on top of the world and with Murali to chase him down, at the centre of one of the most fascinating duels the game has ever seen.’
      • ‘He often was among the leaders in conditioning sprints after finishing well behind the pack in his rookie year.’
      • ‘I want to be the leader of the pack, and to reach that goal, I'm going to have to sail in uncharted waters.’
      • ‘While Cejka and the rest of the leading pack continued to pick up strokes, Dyson fell further behind with bogies at the fifth a sixth holes, reaching the turn in 41.’
  • 3A group of wild animals, especially wolves, living and hunting together.

    ‘a pack of wolves will encircle an ailing prey’
    • ‘He knew that they were the same pack of wolves he had seen on the hunting trip.’
    • ‘Wolf packs, like packs of wild dogs, operate on a strict pack hierarchy.’
    • ‘About the size of a very large Alsatian, the wolf hunts in packs and will eat anything from reindeer to household rubbish.’
    • ‘Sharks of up to 4m could be picked out among the pack.’
    • ‘Over 150 wolves, from eight packs, now roam Yellowstone's forests and river valleys, attesting to a radical reversal of fortune for the maligned predator.’
    • ‘They are social animals, living in packs of usually from 2 to 45 individuals.’
    • ‘He said it was unusual for cheetahs to get together in packs of four.’
    • ‘The wolf hunts in packs, without the single-mindedness of the falcon, but still with a predator's instincts.’
    • ‘Grey wolves live in a packs of up to twenty animals that are usually related to each other.’
    • ‘At times she fell asleep in her seat and dreamed of being surrounded by packs of wild wolves.’
    • ‘The leaders of the pack of hyenas were the first to strike the unsuspecting Barbarian.’
    • ‘Wolves primarily hunt in packs for large prey such as moose, elk, bison, musk oxen, and reindeer.’
    • ‘Ironically, the little drummer boy was killed by a pack of wild turkeys a year later while frolicking in the woods of New York.’
    • ‘Entire packs of grey wolves have also been plucked from the Canadian outback and released in Yellowstone Park.’
    • ‘Thus, the potential also exists that the coyote pack was defending hunting grounds.’
    • ‘Red foxes are solitary animals and do not form packs like wolves.’
    • ‘Remember wolves hunt in packs but the wolf will take care of the sick, feed the old first, they do all of that.’
    • ‘My first six months living in Thailand has brought with it many new experiences, not the least of which is contending with packs of wild dogs.’
    • ‘Unlike pure dingoes, which, like wolves, live in packs ruled by an alpha male and female, wild packs of crossbreeds are uncontrolled.’
    • ‘It is home to some of the last wild black rhino and the biggest packs of wild dog.’
    group, herd, troop
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1A group of hounds kept and used for hunting.
      ‘the lead hound gives tongue and the pack takes off, following the line of scent’
      • ‘Our nearest neighbour across the water has its decision clear; hunting with packs of hounds will be banned.’
      • ‘During the winter months, just in the relatively small county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, several packs of hounds will meet on any one day.’
      • ‘Now, when I say fox hunting I mean the pack hounds and mounted gentry type of hunt.’
      • ‘Healthy hares can easily outrun foxes, but can rarely escape relentless packs of hounds chasing them for up to 90 minutes.’
      • ‘In Britain the debate has been about hunting foxes with packs of hounds and riders in red coats.’
      • ‘Only about 6 per cent of all the foxes killed are killed by packs of hounds and we do not think in the lowland areas, a ban will have any impact.’
      • ‘Perhaps last year's foxhunting ban in England, which outlawed hunting the animals with packs of hounds, may tempt a few foxes back to the countryside.’
      • ‘Fox hunting is a country sport and packs of hounds are kept especially for hunting.’
      • ‘The farmers who have seen dozens of horses tearing up land and leaving gaps in ditches as well as packs of hounds terrorising livestock will be familiar with the magnitude of the problem.’
      • ‘There are ways to kill foxes to keep the numbers down and it shouldn't be with the use of packs of ravenous hounds.’
      • ‘The idea of grown men and women on horseback with packs of hounds, charging after one tiny animal is completely unacceptable.’
      • ‘In November 2004 there were 318 registered hound packs in England and Wales.’
      • ‘Foxes, stags, and hares can venture out on a Spring morning without fear of the red coats and their packs of hounds.’
      • ‘This leaves the question of what would happen to the packs of fox-hounds throughout the country that would no longer be required.’
      • ‘The poisoning of hounds forced half a dozen masters of packs of foxhounds to abandon hunting altogether, to the detriment of the local economy.’
      • ‘Hundreds of packs of fox hounds, hare hounds, deer hounds and other hunts and clubs are planning to meet on Saturday, the day after the ban comes into force.’
      • ‘He estimates no more than 25,000 foxes are caught by organised packs of hounds in a year.’
      • ‘Other people will find that a host of allied trades from country clothing to leather and tackle products, not to mention the lives of packs of hounds, will disappear.’
      • ‘Otter hunting was the oldest organized sport in Great Britain in which packs of scent hounds were used for hunting.’
      • ‘The law allows packs of hounds to be exercised, and absolves huntsmen from blame if dogs catch a scent and kill a fox, so long as they do not set out to go fox hunting and do everything they can to stop the chase and a kill taking place.’
  • 4A rucksack.

    ‘we picked up our packs and trudged off’
    • ‘There are additional features on some backpacks that add to the price of the pack.’
    • ‘If you can haul it up yourself - or better yet, sneak it into someone else's pack - it'll keep until you cook it.’
    • ‘Latimer works with peevish focus, but then suddenly she's ready, shouldering an enormous external frame pack.’
    • ‘As with any heavy weight, your child should bend at the knees and grab the pack with both hands when lifting a backpack to the shoulders.’
    • ‘Our tester was burdened with a 10-pound snowboard strapped to his already portly pack.’
    • ‘Eight feet tall - hard to believe something like that could unfold from the small pack off of the Marine's backpack.’
    • ‘When a person carries a loaded backpack, the pack too moves up and down the same distance at the same time.’
    • ‘I shook my head in bewilderment, stood and stretched, then gathered up my pack.’
    • ‘While the knife is designed for tactical backup, there's nothing that says you can't stick it in a backpack or hunting pack.’
    • ‘Blair gathered up his pack and opened the door, still mumbling to himself.’
    • ‘She got up, stretched, and rummaged through Seiriô's large pack.’
    • ‘Camelbak's biggest pack is perfect for one-day peak ascents.’
    • ‘Pulled stitches, torn fabric, a hole courtesy of a Utah chipmunk, the 1980s vintage pack below was dumpster bound.’
    • ‘And now that you're carrying half the weight, why use a seven-pound backpack when a three-pound pack is fine?’
    • ‘Used to be you needed one pack for two-week treks and another for weekend overnights.’
    • ‘Taking the food out of our packs, and gathering some fresh fruit from a nearby tree, we settle down to a simple and satisfying meal.’
    • ‘Schwarz lead them over to the door and quickly got something out of his pack and started to pick the lock.’
    • ‘Two days per week, I backpack up and down stairs with 40 pounds in the pack.’
    • ‘She pulled her sling out of her pack and gathered three or four appropriately sized stones and set out to find her dinner.’
    • ‘Veon dropped to one knee and pulled his pistols out of his backpack, tossing the pack aside.’
    backpack, rucksack, knapsack, kitbag, duffel bag, bag, satchel, load, luggage
    View synonyms
  • 5An expanse of large pieces of floating ice driven together into a nearly continuous mass, as occurs in polar seas.

    • ‘Hydrogen, the most potent fuel going, packs nearly three times the energy of gasoline.’
    • ‘More than a century of conventional wisdom says that winter, when the ice is both hard and plentiful, is the best time to travel the polar pack.’
    • ‘Already, smaller ice packs have reduced hunting grounds for polar bears, leaving some dangerously underweight.’
    • ‘It is also unlikely that he could have gotten the idea by encountering an ice island on the polar pack, even if he had actually travelled a long distance on it.’
  • 6A hot or cold pad of absorbent material, especially as used for treating an injury.

    • ‘Cold packs can be bought at the store, or instead, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables.’
    • ‘Benign interventions include hot and cold packs, bandages, canes, lotions, vitamins and nutritional supplements.’
    • ‘They are often painful, and you may wish to apply a cold pack straight after the injury.’
    • ‘If you're having a picnic, don't take perishable food such as cheese and meat out of the fridge until the last minute, and use a cool pack to keep it cold in the picnic box.’
    • ‘Frostbite is a recognized danger of the use of cold packs of ice therapy for sports injuries and soft tissue trauma.’
    • ‘To reduce pain and swelling, apply ice or a cold pack.’
    • ‘Other treatments that may help include hot baths, applying hot or cold packs, and stretching or exercise.’
    • ‘Patch and Pockets sat over to the side out of danger, nursing head bruises with cold packs pressed against their temples.’
    • ‘Self-help measures such as fomentation, cold packs, gentle massage with topical agents to relieve pain can be very soothing.’
    • ‘The cold is uncomfortable, but it is important to keep the cold pack in place.’
    • ‘You can also soothe your child's swollen parotid glands with either warm or cold packs.’
    • ‘Soft and cuddly, our Cherry Stone Pillow Bear can be heated in an oven for a soothing source of warmth, or chilled in the freezer for a cold pack.’
    • ‘So I'd have heat around my operated leg, and then on my back I used a cold pack, so I had different zones, hot on my hip, and a cold pack under the back.’
    • ‘Suggest that they make at least six cold packs, since they could use as many as three at a time and will need to replace them after 20 minutes.’
    • ‘Using gentle pressure, apply ice or a cold pack to the area around the eye for 10 to 15 minutes.’
    • ‘If not engorged, prolapses can reduce spontaneously or be rolled back using a cold pack.’
    • ‘Clinical practitioners often use herbal compresses and packs to aid in the healing process, which can cause allergic reactions for sensitive skin.’
    • ‘Cold packs can be applied on the area of injury to reduce the pain and oedema.’
    • ‘Cold or heat packs may help relieve pain and swelling, and some people find that the natural anti-inflammatory arnica will bring relief, taken as tablets or rubbed into the body as a cream.’
    • ‘Participants were asked to bring the plastic bag containing both saliva samples and the cold pack to the study visit.’


  • 1Fill (a suitcase or bag) with clothes and other items needed for travel.

    ‘I packed a bag and left’
    [no object] ‘she had packed and checked out of the hotel’
    • ‘Crystal agreed and she packed a tote bag with a change of clothes and hopped into her car.’
    • ‘I packed a bag, taking only a few changes of clothes and my wallet.’
    • ‘She packed a bag of clothes, and gathered a few of her things.’
    • ‘Then I quickly changed my clothes and packed my backpack.’
    • ‘Once I was sure they were there, I helped my mom pack the suitcases and bags in the car.’
    • ‘Should we be stocking up on water and packing an evacuation bag?’
    • ‘In the bedroom, my suitcase was packed with a few clothes, my radio alarm clock, some CDs, some books, my laptop and my diary.’
    • ‘I've packed three bags with enough clothes to last more than two months because I'm not sure when I'll be home again.’
    • ‘They had each packed a suitcase and loaded into the minivan.’
    • ‘Passengers who lied when asked why they were travelling or if they packed their own bags would be betrayed by their blushes.’
    • ‘Katelyn walked into her room, sitting down on her bed and watching Mary pack her small pink backpack with clothes to wear while over at the Hayes.’
    • ‘Maybe I should pack my bag and grab the next flight north.’
    • ‘So, I finished packing my bag, with clothes, CDs, and stuff I would miss.’
    • ‘I packed a small suitcase, throwing my clothes inside it without any manner of care.’
    • ‘I will certainly never be late again, even if it means having to pack an overnight bag and travel by ScotRail the night before.’
    • ‘I got up and started packing my bag, putting clothes on in the process.’
    • ‘Will walked upstairs and changed into his normal clothes, and started packing a bag.’
    • ‘By seven o'clock, Karen's bags were packed, loaded into the cab and she hugged Janine.’
    • ‘She quickly ran upstairs and packed a bag with her clothes for about a week.’
    • ‘I quietly crept to my closet and I grabbed my duffle bag that was already packed with clothes.’
    fill, fill up, put things in, load, stuff, cram
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Place (something) in a container for transport, storage, or sale.
      ‘I packed up my stuff and drove to Detroit’
      • ‘His daily tasks include sorting out orders, packing the goods and transporting them to customers.’
      • ‘If you eat a lot of ice cream the containers with lids make a great receptacle for packing the caramel corn.’
      • ‘Once inspected, the quills are packed into neat, 100-pound bundles before being graded and sold.’
      • ‘Unlike a lot of bands on the verge of a tour, they won't be going through the regular checklist of getting the van road-ready or packing sleeping bags.’
      • ‘They worked inside, in the packing houses, washing, sorting, grading, and packing oranges at a dizzying pace.’
      • ‘It is packed in an airtight container such as a foil pouch to prevent it from absorbing moisture.’
      • ‘Sharon and Jane say they would normally suggest putting items into storage or packing them away in readiness for moving house.’
      • ‘The entire community mobilises to pack items for transport by mule or horse across the border.’
      • ‘He had packed his chute himself before it was put into storage at the airfield ready to be used two days later.’
      • ‘Because they had been so late, their luggage had to be manually packed in the luggage compartment, thus delaying the plane for another fifteen minutes.’
      • ‘Our waiter, considerate to the last, packed the leftovers neatly into a container to be reheated at home next day.’
      • ‘Imported apples are packed and graded using the latest technology including waxing, which gives them an extra shine.’
      • ‘You pack it tightly inside a sturdy container, it is extremely flammable.’
      • ‘He had gone down and packed it all up and had it put in storage until the day would come that he could move it all up to its new location.’
      • ‘Qualified deductions include the cost of packing and moving your household goods to your new home and the cost of transporting yourself and your family.’
      • ‘Dry them before you pack them into their containers or plastic bag and then put them in your luggage.’
      • ‘The charity is even planning a portable gym that can be packed in a van and taken to village halls in the area.’
      • ‘She silently packed away everything except the cotton blanket wrapped around her, a piece of delicious looking bread, and the emerald.’
      • ‘The goods are packed into ‘Aquaboxes’, which also contain a tap and filtration packet, so that they can be turned into water purification containers.’
      • ‘Smaller items are packed into shipping containers for the trip back to Australia.’
      stow, put away, store, box up, crate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[no object]Be capable of being folded up for transport or storage.
      ‘a pneumatic igloo tent that packs away compactly’
      • ‘Be aware that trolley-bags usually have a chassis, so they do not fold up and pack away so easily.’
    3. 1.3Store (something perishable) in a specified substance in order to preserve it.
      ‘the organs were packed in ice’
      • ‘It was packed in ice but at Broomfield Hospital's specialist plastic surgery unit, medics said there would be a high risk of infection so were unable to sew it back on.’
      • ‘It would have been packed in salt in order to make the journey.’
      • ‘The are usually packed in olive oil or vinegar, and are frequently slit so they absorb the flavor of the wine vinegar marinade in which they are soaked.’
      • ‘We advised the fingertip be packed in ice in line with Booth Hall's recommendation.’
      • ‘Glasshouse plants used for nodule enzyme activity measurements were unpotted, rinsed free of sand and packed in ice.’
      • ‘She was revolted by bags of pre-prepared potatoes, smothered in gloopy preservative and packed in plastic.’
      • ‘For the most part it was meat packed in ice, thawed and heated in the evenings.’
      • ‘Captain Leonard B. Smith, whose ship brought the first cargo of ice packed in sawdust to the island, suggested a bridge that would float away.’
      • ‘Fruits that are to be eaten raw, and so cannot be blanched, are often packed in sugar or dipped in syrup before freezing, to exclude air and thus inhibit enzyme action.’
      • ‘The vital marrow was packed in ice for the flight from the USA and given to Mr Worral to help him fight the myeloid leukaemia he was diagnosed with in September.’
      • ‘These were packed in a carton of ten, wrapped in a black cover to exclude light.’
      • ‘The vital marrow - which can only be kept for 72 hours - was due to arrive at St James's Hospital in Leeds packed in ice for the flight from America.’
      • ‘Callum and his finger, packed in ice, were taken to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, where surgeons worked for nine hours to try to re-attach it.’
      • ‘With no preservatives or additives, Ultra Creamy is packed in two stick boxes that retail at $2.59.’
  • 2Cram a large number of things into.

    ‘it was a large room, packed with beds jammed side by side’
    • ‘Robert Wyatt's Cuckooland, the ‘outsider’ on the list, is packed with songs that cover diverse subjects.’
    • ‘Their mailbox is packed daily with letters from well-wishers containing prayer cards, medals and rosaries.’
    • ‘For a small book, Tales Of The Yorkshire Coast, packs a lot in.’
    • ‘All three slim volumes are packed with pictures old and new, and contain a treasure trove of information about both how steam engines were made and used.’
    • ‘How long can an average person survive in an airtight room that's packed with plants, assuming there is plenty of food and water?’
    • ‘This area was packed with legends and stories surrounding plants.’
    • ‘Its shelves are packed with files containing charts showing daily movements in ticket sales.’
    • ‘Such a transformation can best be realized in an existing home that's packed with stuff.’
    • ‘For me though, this weekend was more notable for being packed with stuff that I didn't go to, and didn't miss.’
    • ‘A word of caution: watch out if a package packs a great deal of sightseeing into the itinerary.’
    • ‘His small flat off the King's Road is packed with technical books, laptops and charts.’
    • ‘The final line-up for this year's Grassington Festival has been completed and is jammed packed with great entertainment for all.’
    • ‘A whopping 256 nonblocking Fibre Channel ports have been packed into the system.’
    • ‘Our concern is that where more stops have been packed in, or trains taken out of the timetable altogether, this will lead to more overcrowding on already busy trains.’
    • ‘It is packed with package deals for the Ryder Cup and interestingly, features hotels well away from the Co. Kildare venue.’
    • ‘The catalogue is also packed with wicker and sisal baskets for storage or waste paper.’
    • ‘It is packed with anecdotes from family, friends and colleagues - covering every stage of his long racing career.’
    • ‘Readings, book launches, workshops, entertainment - this year's Scriobh Literary Festival is packed from cover to cover.’
    • ‘These soft cover non-fiction titles are packed with pictures and facts about interesting figures in Canadian history.’
    • ‘The next few weeks in Kilcoo will be jammed packed with activities and events to suit all tastes.’
    1. 2.1(of a large number of people) crowd into and fill (a place)
      ‘a packed Merseyside pub’
      • ‘The place was packed, but the crowd waited patiently for a long time to get the singer's autograph.’
      • ‘Scattered showers failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds who yesterday packed into the 250-acre showground.’
      • ‘The spacious Town Hall in the South Mayo Capital was packed to full capacity for the 8.30 pm show.’
      • ‘Bleachers surround the court, and the park is packed for every game.’
      • ‘Record crowds packed into the 60th anniversary Tockwith Agricultural Show during an exciting weekend of events.’
      • ‘Crowds packed along the route to watch the convoy make its hour long journey to the hospital, where they delivered their goodies to the children on the wards.’
      • ‘A massive crowd packed into the Currane venue and they were entertained wonderfully by the excellent standard of the competitors.’
      • ‘Students and community members packed the Great Hall for a touching vigil for the victims of the recent tsunami disaster in southeast Asia.’
      • ‘Crowds packed into halls and bars to hear Mick's songs and stories which he had perfected to a fine art.’
      • ‘Record crowds packed into the Yorkshire Air Show yesterday for the greatest display in the event's history.’
      • ‘Scarlett looked around the huge room which was packed to capacity.’
      • ‘A large proportion of the crowd took shelter in the few tents provided on site, which then became impossible to use for their intended purpose due to the huge numbers packed inside.’
      • ‘Huge crowds packed the streets, many weeping as rice showered down from balconies and church bells rang out to mark the passing of the funeral cortège.’
      • ‘Local community leaders from 27 villages, students and teachers packed into city hall last Thursday as part of a volunteer training seminar.’
      • ‘Rescuers then gave him oxygen, and his colleagues packed into a tent around him to help speed the warming process, but it was three hours before it was judged safe to move him from the mountains.’
      • ‘He was overwhelmed at the number of people packed into the council's chamber and was stunned at the cheers and applause he received.’
      • ‘The Kohl Center was filled to capacity as 19,790 fans packed the stands to see the game.’
      • ‘The room is packed with press from all over the state and from national agencies.’
      • ‘Drawn in part by the buzz surrounding the film, people packed the theaters and formed long lines for tickets.’
      • ‘American music filled the room and the dance floor was packed with merrymakers.’
    2. 2.2Cover, surround, or fill (something)
      ‘if you have a nosebleed, try packing the nostrils with cotton wool’
      • ‘I cut my palms when I was nine, again on the bars, and one of my coaches packed the blisters with chalk and covered them with surgical tape before lifting me back up to the bar.’
      • ‘When the ‘toddlers' truce’ was lifted the search was on for programmes to pack the vacant hour; Twizzle helped fill the vacuum.’
      • ‘Open incisions are packed with sterile, saline-soaked laparotomy sponges and then covered with sterile drapes.’
      • ‘The wound may be packed (usually with iodoform gauze) to encourage further drainage.’
      • ‘You are much better off putting the keg into an empty garbage can and packing the surrounding space with ice.’
      • ‘Numerous small vacuoles pack the bundle sheath cell and the walls of these cells are not folded.’
      package, parcel, swathe, swaddle, encase, enfold, envelop, cloak, bale, bundle, protect
      throng, cram full, mob, cram, jam, press into, squash into, squeeze into
      View synonyms
  • 3Rugby
    [no object] (of players) form a scrum.

    ‘we often packed down with only seven men’
    • ‘If league want to continue with the scrums let them watch Union scrums or speak to the players of the 50s or 60s how to pack and play a scrum.’
    • ‘Andy Nicol found time and space with both sets of forwards packed down; so did Bryan Redpath in the second half.’
    • ‘Brumbies coach David Nucifora was pleased with the performance of his team, especially the forwards, who where able to get on top of the heavier Bulls pack in scrums.’
  • 4informal Carry (a gun)

    ‘he packs a gun and keeps it at the ready’
    ‘a pistol-packing cop’
    • ‘Besides the well worn dusty cowboy boots he was also packing a gun under his green T-shirt.’
    • ‘Most of the CCW pistol packers I know, who pack daily, are the ones who need something stiff in their pocket to remind them of days gone by while they lust for the chance to save the day.’


  • go to the pack

    • informal Deteriorate; go to pieces.

      ‘it was real sad how he went to the pack’
      • ‘Sure, some parts of the country are going to the pack and there is definitely a social element that I would not like to meet on a dark and lonely street but this is a beautiful country with lots of beautiful people who live here.’
      • ‘The place will go to the pack once I'm gone, mark my words.’
  • pack one's bags

    • Prepare for one's imminent departure.

      ‘he might hand in his resignation, pack his bags, and go to Tahiti’
      • ‘When the bell tolled for their departure, they packed their bags and left in freewheeling style but leaving behind no concrete proof of investment.’
      • ‘Mary warned us that there was a strong chance we'd be going to jail and on the Friday before our Monday court appearance she advised us to prepare for the worst and to pack our bags.’
      • ‘But after a bad row on March 4, she packed her bags and fled to her mother's.’
      • ‘They'd be better off packing their bags and taking their grants with them.’
      • ‘She's quit her job, packed her bags and off to teach English with the JET Programme.’
      • ‘I couldn't believe it - we were eight points behind yet some of the guys were already packing their bags.’
      • ‘Your friends have all got the grades they needed and are looking forward to packing their bags and starting a new life in October.’
      • ‘As these notes are being prepared, I am packing my bags to go to Wales for the early-season hawking.’
      • ‘The next one who retires, just pack your bags and say thanks very much I've had a lovely time.’
      • ‘With the main school holidays fast approaching, many families from Bolton will soon be packing their bags and heading off to the airport, ready to hop on to flights abroad.’
  • pack heat

    • informal Carry a gun.

      ‘he was busted at JFK for packing heat’
      • ‘Back in his gang days, Arnold said, he had packed a gun briefly.’
      • ‘My grandmother had a concealed weapons license and packed a gun in her purse from her early 20s until she died when she was 93.’
  • pack it in

    • informal Stop what one is doing.

      ‘I decided to resit my GCSEs but I didn't have enough confidence in myself so I packed it in’
      • ‘Finally I decided that maybe I had been fooling myself all along, and maybe it was time to pack it in and get a "real" job "down at the "ol' sawmill."’
      • ‘In reality, it's past Time for some candidates to pack it in, but this is as good an occasion to point it out again as any.’
  • pack a punch

    • 1Be capable of hitting with skill or force.

      ‘Rosie, although small, could pack a hefty punch’
      • ‘It was small, light weight, 5.7mm, not quite an assault rifle but it packed a punch.’
      • ‘But Tarver, even though he packs a punch, was wary of trading with Jones.’
      • ‘The player has good range, covers a lot of ground, and packs a punch with his heavy hits.’
      • ‘The nickname is because he can pack a punch.’
      • ‘Vin packs a punch and I had to take it pretty slow — I couldn't just knock him back.’
      • ‘After all, the Coca-Cola kid is lean, mean — and packs a punch to rival most major countries.’
      • ‘He packs a punch for a small guy.’
      • ‘He stands well under 1.80 metres but certainly packs a punch.’
      • ‘Hurricane Emily still packs a punch and increases fears about floods in northeast Mexico hours after making landfall.’
      • ‘The engine packs a punch, with a retrofit Brabus SB2 power upgrade kit, bumping the power output to 111 bhp.’
      1. 1.1Have a powerful effect.
        ‘the Spanish wine packed quite a punch’
        • ‘Internationally revered for her film, video and photographic work Hegarty is a multimedia artist who packs a punch.’
        • ‘He may be approaching 80, but the former cabinet minister and idol of the hard left still packs a punch.’
        • ‘Whether you're a DVD anorak or not, when you pop a new disc into your DVD player and press ‘Play’ on the remote control, there's no denying that you're looking for a menu screen that packs a punch.’
        • ‘If language packs a punch, then David Foster Wallace's collection of short stories, Oblivion, is a knockout blow’
        • ‘And yet, de Montalk's tense, restrained minimalism is capable of packing a punch.’
        • ‘This is lighter than most dark beers, almost a deep rouge, but it still packs a punch with its Christmas pudding drenched in sherry aroma (like your Gran use to do).’
        • ‘Physically Arnie is a giant of a man, but - perhaps surprisingly to many - he also packs a punch mentally too.’
        • ‘The granddaughter of Rochdale boxing champion Jock McAvoy is packing a punch of her own - as a poet.’
        • ‘The underdog Kings are also a hefty 37 - 6 at home in Arco Arena, packing a punch with a lineup that includes All-Stars Webber and fellow pistolero Peja Stojakovic.’
        • ‘The show itself also packs a punch, complete with a seven-piece band, special guest guitarist David Lee Murphy, a nine-metre high video screen and state-of-the-art lighting and sound.’
        • ‘Not always easy watching, but it is a film that packs a punch.’
        • ‘Anyone up for re-election knows the issue packs a punch.’
  • pack a sad

    • 1informal Be or become depressed or sullen.

      ‘don't pack a sad because someone else likes to play dirty’
      • ‘Then he packs a sad whenever the person he is interviewing gets the better of him.’
      • ‘He packed a sad, cursing within clear view and earshot of television cameras.’
      • ‘Rather than packing a sad about the apparent diss, she said she was happy to ruffle the singer's feathers.’
      • ‘When someone else got the job, she packed a sad.’
      • ‘Instead of packing a sad and blaming your problems on me, how about you get a backbone and defend your assertions?’
      • ‘She doesn't pack a sad or force her opinions on me.’
      • ‘I remember packing a sad when I was six or seven when I was told it was too wet to play.’
      • ‘When there is a falling out, someone packs a sad and sets up a new party.’
      • ‘Don't pack a sad and cry just because one of your lot got caught being scummy.’
      • ‘Maybe they will pack a sad and move somewhere else.’
      1. 1.1Break down.
        ‘the dishwasher packed a sad’
        • ‘Just a few days ago, my fancy VCR packed a sad and now won't play back tapes.’
        • ‘My car's packed a sad; bad timing, right?’
        • ‘Unfortunately her bike packed a sad.’
  • packed out

    • informal (of a place) very crowded.

      • ‘About 200 people packed out a meeting staged by the North East Essex Community Health Council at Holland public hall to discuss the proposals.’
      • ‘After 10 weeks of a trial which packed out Court Four almost daily and attracted acres of newsprint and hours of TV coverage, the last act is yet to be confirmed.’
      • ‘Staged at a packed out Witton Park, the 11 track events were shared out between seven schools while it was a similar story in the field - six titles dished out to four schools.’
      • ‘Local pubs were packed out throughout the day and night and all local businesses were kept busy.’
      • ‘Friends and family packed out a nightclub last week in memory of top West DJ Travis Bryan.’
      • ‘It was a sold out show, and the place was packed out.’
      • ‘‘It will be packed out, they'll be queuing before we open and the atmosphere will be brilliant,’ he said.’
      • ‘Two last quick observations: absolutely every meeting is completely packed out, rammed to the rafters, with usually dozens of young people crowded round the entrances to try to catch what is being said.’
      • ‘Elsewhere in the city, the Christmas weekend began with the Marks & Spencer food hall packed out as customers stocked up on Christmas goodies such as brandy sauce, mince pies and port.’
      • ‘Last year, more than 16,000 enthusiasts took a trip on the Scotsman - and yesterday's journey was no exception with carriages packed out with enthusiasts.’
  • send someone packing

    • Make someone leave in an abrupt or peremptory way.

      ‘the intrusive outsider is humiliated by the kids and sent packing by the mother’
      • ‘The driver learnt his lesson and whenever ticketless passengers tried to board later in the journey he sent them packing and drove off without them.’
      • ‘Club chiefs denied that Jeffs had been sent packing for disciplinary reasons - though they did admit his behaviour had not been perfect.’
      • ‘And if they don't shape up, you will do all you can to send them packing.’
      • ‘The pensioners sent them packing with a threat to call the police.’
      • ‘I can send them packing but I have elderly neighbours who may not be able to do that so easily.’
      • ‘If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.’
      • ‘Fortunately, they and I realized I wasn't ready to settle down and they sent me packing.’
      • ‘His side's attitude must be right or they will be sent packing.’
      • ‘The judge bought the excuse though and sent him packing with nothing but a warning.’
      • ‘When we were bored, I would take my gang along to dad's shop, play with his vast selection of nails and knives and generally bother him until he sent us packing.’
      expel, send away, eject, turn out, throw out, force out, oust, evict, put out, get rid of
      dismiss, discharge
      chuck out, kick out, boot out, defenestrate, show the door to, give someone their marching orders, throw someone out on their ear, sack, fire, give someone the boot, axe
      give someone the push, give someone the elbow, give someone the big e, bin off, turf out
      give someone the air, give someone the bum's rush
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • pack something in

    • Give up an activity or job.

      ‘I'm packing in the job’
      • ‘He's packing the job in next month.’
      • ‘I’ve half a mind to pack the whole thing in.’
      • ‘I think I'll pack the diet in for a while and just concentrate on the fitness side.’
      resign from, leave, give up, drop, abandon, renounce, relinquish
      give up, abstain from, drop, desist from, refrain from, steer clear of, give a wide berth to, reject, eschew, forswear, avoid, discontinue
      View synonyms
  • pack someone off

    • Send someone somewhere without much warning or notice.

      ‘I was packed off to hospital for surgery’
      • ‘He spoke of how he felt he had been packed off to school at an early age with little contact with either his mother or his father.’
      • ‘When my children were younger, I was never too keen on the idea of packing them off for long durations of summer camp.’
      • ‘The problem became so intolerable that I was packed off to the child psychiatrist to find out what was wrong with me and why I was causing the bullies to target me.’
      • ‘When I was twelve my dad packed me off to computer camp.’
      • ‘He discovered a hitherto undetected fracture and packed me off to North Shore Hospital.’
      • ‘However, the war effort said they could use him as an Air Force policeman, so he was packed off to Police College and then sent to Malta, where he was stationed for the next four years.’
      • ‘When I was 5, my mother packed me off to a boarding school in Kuala Lumpur as there were no proper schools where we lived in Kuala Krai, Kelantan.’
      • ‘From there he was packed off to Carmel College and then he went to London University to study economics.’
      • ‘I packed him off to bed but he couldn't settle and he definitely couldn't sleep.’
      • ‘But when I asked about her plans for child rearing she replied: ‘They'll have a nanny until they're 12 and then I'll pack them off to boarding school.’’
      send off, dispatch, dismiss, bundle off
      send packing
      View synonyms
  • pack something out

    • Pack something up and take it away.

      ‘pack out any garbage you have left’
      • ‘Littering is littering no matter how grand the adventure, and the code holds true for everyone: Pack it in, pack it out.’
      • ‘There is an old saying in camping: if you pack it in, pack it out.’
      • ‘Family rafting adventures include a stop for a hot lunch on a pristine beach, where the ‘pack it in, pack it out’ philosophy is strictly enforced.’
  • pack up (or in)

    • (of a machine) break down.

      ‘the immersion heater has packed up’
      ‘at Gatwick, the engine packed in’
      • ‘Hopefully it will be nothing like this time last year when I had a three and a half mile walk home in the snow when the tubes and buses packed up.’
      • ‘I was going to take loads of photos but alas, my camera battery packed up.’
      • ‘By the time he was 24, Daniel was having dialysis four times a day to survive when his only kidney packed up.’
      • ‘Next time the freezer packs up I'll hope it's in winter!’
      • ‘My scooter had packed up on the way to work in the morning, and I had had to leave it in a quiet cul-de-sac and return for it later.’
      • ‘This is when the heating packs up, nothing for it except to go out for a night on the town.’
      • ‘But the clutch on his Ford Mondeo packed up and he was left on a remote stretch of the dual carriageway.’
      • ‘Things got so bad during Wednesday's gargantuan meeting that the overworked coffee machine packed up.’
      • ‘Things got worse when the boat's watermaker packed up and Richards had to spend precious time repairing it.’
      • ‘But somehow - and this is where my memory of the interview almost completely packs up on me - I stumbled to the end of the answer.’
      break down, stop working, cease to function, cease to work, fail, give out, stall, come to a halt, develop a fault, malfunction, go wrong, break, act up, be defective, be faulty, crash
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German pak (noun), pakken (verb). The verb appears early in Anglo-Latin and Anglo-Norman French in connection with the wool trade; trade in English wool was chiefly with the Low Countries.




Main definitions of pack in English

: pack1pack2



  • Fill (a jury, committee, etc.) with people likely to support a particular verdict or decision.

    ‘his efforts to pack the Supreme Court with men who shared his ideology’
    • ‘There are bound to be mixed feelings about the change from an independent CHC to a local-authority committee which is packed with politicians.’
    • ‘He also implicitly criticised the president for packing the courts and legislature with his supporters and for bringing the army deeply into political life.’
    • ‘The government has moved to crack down on independent-minded judges, human rights groups and the media and has been accused of packing the courts with sympathetic judges.’
    • ‘Thus did I read about FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court, and realize what a truly frightening thing this was.’
    • ‘At the same time, oversight agencies are packed with hunters and hunting supporters.’
    • ‘Franklin Roosevelt wanted to pack the Court with New Dealers who would uphold his legislative program.’
    • ‘Sheriffs and justices of the peace retained by a lord would not be impartial: juries could be packed or intimidated.’
    • ‘And he apparently is planning to pack the court with supporters before the August referendum, thus giving his side the final say on legitimating the results.’
    • ‘The persistent charges of jury packing in Ireland led to calls for reform of the jury selection statutes.’
    • ‘We would have worked to secure the positions of chair and secretary and tried to pack the committee with political supporters - that is, if we had any.’
    • ‘Meetings can be packed, democratic decisions circumvented, dissenters smeared and threatened, cheques forged and money misappropriated.’


Early 16th century (in the sense ‘enter into a private agreement’): probably from the obsolete verb pact ‘enter into an agreement with’, the final -t being interpreted as an inflection of the past tense.