Main definitions of box in US English:

: box1box2box3box4

box1

noun

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

    ‘a cereal box’
    ‘a hat box’
    • ‘The crystal pieces are contemporary in style and stylishly presented in glossy white boxes with a turquoise silk ribbon.’
    • ‘She didn't recall injuring herself, but she had been lifting heavy boxes.’
    • ‘The ground was sandy gravel and some long heavy open boxes and shelves were placed in the room and against the walls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Officers raided the flat and seized seven boxes containing 72,000 cigarettes.’
    • ‘The biscuits come frozen in boxes, hard as hockey pucks.’
    • ‘He slammed his feet down hard and rolled the boxes forward under his weight.’
    • ‘They were muscular all around from working hard all summer lifting heavy boxes for their father's moving business.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The boxes were heavy, but Joe made it look like child's play.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, simply stuffing empty boxes into a green bin or tossing a used can into an environmentally-friendly container isn't recycling.’
    • ‘Instead, hens north of the Border will carry on living out their miserable lives crammed into dark, tiny boxes to boost farmers' profit margins.’
    • ‘Everything nowadays comes in high quality, glossy cardboard boxes, or tins with lovely labels on.’
    • ‘Finally, my dishes, kitchen equipment and all other worldly possessions have arrived and my living room is floor to ceiling with big heavy boxes.’
    • ‘These pastry layers tend to be towards the middle of the box and were significantly darker than the rest of the pastry sheets.’
    • ‘We carry boxes along a dark, narrow corridor, that has steps up at either end, meaning that it is sunken.’
    • ‘A ripening banana put in a lidded box with green tomatoes turns them red.’
    carton, pack, packet, package
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The contents of a box.
      ‘she ate a whole box of chocolates that night’
      • ‘A gloved hand slammed merrily on a wooden table, shaking the contents on it and clattering a box of various tools to the floor.’
      • ‘We have a stock of drinking water, washing water, a box of tinned food, biscuits, crisps, chocolates, we certainly won't go hungry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A box of wafers is demolished, down to the crumbs at the bottom of the wax liner, which are shaken out and inhaled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Seb crossed his legs and gave me a contented smile, taking a handful of MY box of cheesy snacks.’
      • ‘We were given a box of mystery ingredients and had to come up with something in five minutes.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘I plan to auction off the cards, as I have over half a box of them left.’
      • ‘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 aren't content with one box of fresh berries, or one balmy day in the garden, or one vacation sometime later.’
      • ‘But before I went to the party, I had to get rid of two boxes of Green Party pamphlets.’
      • ‘I just ate a box of sweets and feel really quite sick.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Macaroni is my favorite meal but I can't eat a whole box!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?’
    2. 1.2the boxBritish informal Television or a television set.
      ‘light entertainment shows on the box’
      • ‘The sun was shining outside but the sports offerings on the box were simply too good to pass up.’
      • ‘Watch it on the box when it's hopefully been distilled into something worth watching.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3informal A casing containing a computer.
      • ‘It does nothing except copy a bit of code and has no effect until the box is re-started.’
      • ‘Over here, we have the dead power supply which came out of our box, and over here we have the replacement power supply.’
      • ‘You don't always need to have the latest and greatest hardware (but it helps) to get the most out of your box.’
      • ‘As we've seen before, tweaking your memory times would be a good idea to get the most out of your box.’
      • ‘Unplugging and plugging back in the box didn't do anything either.’
    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. 1.5historical A coachman's seat.
  • 2An area on a page that is to be filled in or that is set off by a border.

    ‘a picture of Sandy was in the upper right-hand 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘None of this sways the lunatic, however, and the boxes are printed.’
    • ‘Now they're forced to tick boxes and fill paperwork in.’
    • ‘Yes, I know that's a coy name for a database but perhaps I was feeling coy when I filled in the title box.’
    • ‘Moreover, information boxes, tables, and relevant illustrations complement the material presented.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the front page is a box stating: ‘As always, your feedback is very welcome.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Applicants must indicate their wish to participate in this Scheme by marking the appropriate box on the front page of the application form.’
    • ‘The sheet of paper was so long that i didn't bother filling out the 78 boxes but just the one.’
    • ‘There are forms to be filled in, boxes to be ticked, and statements to be checked.’
    • ‘Then there's about a million boxes to fill in, but hardly any of them apply to me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He pointed towards one of the upper right hand corner boxes.’
    • ‘The boxes can also be displayed with or without a caption and colors can be customized.’
    • ‘For those who have visited the site over the year and filled the comment box, thank you and keep it up.’
    • ‘This box should include contact information for your business and company background information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They draw up the page with boxes for ads, stories and photographs.’
    1. 2.1 An area on a computer screen for user input or displaying information.
      • ‘No Linux port can run on that system unless the user opens up the box and makes alterations to the hardware.’
      • ‘It's easy to overlook the relevant box and users can easily end up with a listing they really don't want.’
      • ‘For example, users can type queries directly into the search box on the TrustWatch toolbar.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This landing page draws attention to the auction information boxes.’
      • ‘Your password is a phrase which can be as long as you like, although the box displays about 70-odd characters at a time.’
      • ‘Alerts appeared on the screen, little boxes with red writing warning me of the presence of malware.’
      • ‘Leonti stared at the information box displayed on the main monitor of the Sestuan.’
      • ‘I've got a complex Javascript form which assembles a search string from information the user has typed into various input boxes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I didn't check the others, but the Opteron box was displaying a generic screensaver over a locked console.’
      • ‘Onscreen wizards guide you through the trickier tasks and hint boxes appear each time you try something new.’
      • ‘Double-clicking on the directory brings the user to the Linux box with the test data, without realizing it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Participants were asked to guess which of four identical boxes appearing on the screen had been selected by the computer.’
      • ‘The computer made a sickly beeping sound and a box popped onto the screen.’
      • ‘Six boxes appear on the computer screen, each of which contains a different shape designed to be difficult to describe in words.’
      • ‘You can move maps and informational boxes around with ease.’
      • ‘Immediately a small box appeared on the screen requesting a password.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2the boxSoccer The penalty area.
      ‘he curled in a shot from the edge of the box’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Goal raids were frantic and the keepers were kept busy as the balls shot into the box and past the bars regularly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He carried the ball at pace from halfway towards the box before cracking a right-foot shot from 20 yards out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Hearts captain, in possession, tried to check his run in the box and was bumped over by his pursuer.’
      • ‘Meehan could only blast over from the left hand side of the box after Ferguson slid a precision pass through to him.’
    3. 2.3the box" or "the batter's boxBaseball The rectangular area occupied by the batter.
      • ‘Make no doubt, it's stressful in that batter's box, never more so than when you've just looked at strike two.’
      • ‘His world may be a mess, but the one place he can control things is in the batter's box.’
      • ‘He will be in the batter's box facing Major League pitching every fifth day.’
      • ‘Rice promptly pulled out his tape measure and measured the proper outline of the batter's box.’
      • ‘He inexplicably carried the ball out of the box, dropped it and retrieved it with his hand.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was there when things began to click and the move to the batter's box began to pay dividends.’
      • ‘What is clear is that as a result the batter's box was obliterated.’
      • ‘He felt a twinge underneath the bone while pushing off out of the batter's box and running to first.’
      • ‘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 Podsednik stepped into the batter's box, my friend asked me if I knew anything about the guy.’
      • ‘If he does, the umpire will merely direct the proper batter to take his place in the batter's box while inheriting the count.’
      • ‘Carew was so prepared by the time he stepped in the batter's box that many pitchers never stood a chance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Moreno stood in the batter's box and watched the play along with the 19,517 fans in attendance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The umpire called him out for stepping out of the batter's box.’
    4. 2.4Baseball The rectangular area behind home plate for the catcher (catcher's box), or those near first and third bases, in foul territory, for each base coach (coach's box).
      • ‘By the way, can someone please explain to me the purpose of chalking the third-base coach's box?’
      • ‘My way of fighting back was to try to drive the ball as hard as I could through the pitcher's box for a base hit.’
      • ‘I have to believe that Lunar had positioned himself in the catcher's box that way a number of times in his career.’
      • ‘Some time ago, I was watching a game on TV, and the game was stopped in order to reline the catcher's box.’
      • ‘Bruce kept low and ran back behind a box near the place where Daniel had also taken cover.’
  • 3A separate section or enclosed area within a larger building, especially one reserved for a group of people in a theater or sports ground or for witnesses or the jury in a law court.

    ‘a box at the opera’
    ‘the jury was now in the box’
    • ‘Thankfully, one of the stadium staff kicked her out of our box.’
    • ‘The pair caused quite a stir when they took their seats in the VIP box at Fenway Park.’
    • ‘The shopping centre also boasts a 14-screen Cineworld cinema which has 3,000 seats and VIP boxes with its own waitress service.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Season tickets are exchanged for small stubs of paper, with window seats available in corporate boxes.’
    • ‘The trial was expected to last for several more years, with only the second witness currently in the box.’
    • ‘Do witnesses get in the box and just express an opinion?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Croke Park will raise about €22 million next year from the resale of corporate boxes and premium level seats in the Cusack Stand.’
    • ‘There will be around 18,000 ‘premium’ seats and 160 executive boxes.’
    • ‘Who does the NFL think is buying those high-priced seats and luxury boxes?’
    • ‘Each box has four seats and for $400 it includes the entire weekend of events.’
    • ‘A section of boxes climbs from the stage, then rows of benches rise high up the slope of the fan-shaped amphitheater.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On Wednesday the final whistle sounded and he was there, perched on the ledge of the executive box, fists punching.’
    • ‘It could obtain the most popular seats, in the boxes and bleachers, and it did.’
    • ‘We took our seats in a private box, something that Julius had insisted on trying.’
    • ‘What truly matters is the revenue a stadium is able to generate, through such things as luxury boxes, personal seat licenses, and signage.’
    • ‘Across the field, to the right, are the posh seats and executive boxes.’
    • ‘I was seated in the celebrity box with my family and I knew half the audience in the hall there.’
    1. 3.1British A small country house for use when hunting or fishing.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ahern was instrumental in retaining a much reduced Irish fishing box, much to the disgust of the Spanish.’
  • 4A protective casing for a piece of a mechanism.

    • ‘So I ring the bell at the gate and out of the box comes the voice of Moses.’
    • ‘Underneath the boxes was a foam piece that had underneath it the clear plastic hoses for the connecting tubing.’
    • ‘The woman named Price moves forward and brings out a small box with a red light.’
    • ‘Because SAD is caused by a lack of light, exposure to additional light from a box can help to relieve the symptoms.’
    • ‘They continued on like this, until the little box attached to the wall, buzzed.’
    • ‘However, a clever lever mechanism collapses its box when the hood is closed, giving reasonable luggage space.’
    • ‘Once out of its protective box, any kind of radio wave can potentially ignite it until it is inserted inside the bomb.’
    • ‘I just nodded and headed across the street, mechanically, holding a box that I didn't know how to use.’
    • ‘He laid it down and pressed a blue button on the mechanical box.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘G. Rinker designed and constructed the mechanical feeding boxes.’
    • ‘The emergency shut-off device was housed in a control box situated inside the engine room crew changing room.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Make sure your spa comes with a protective box or panel designed to keep out rain and water from sprinkler systems.’
    • ‘Adjacent to each button on the response box was a small light used to provide feedback after each trial.’
    • ‘They have been used to damage a car last week and in another incident a phone box was blown to pieces.’
    • ‘She removed another device, a mechanical box connected by a cord to a piece of metal with a plastic handle.’
    • ‘Looking quickly back at the captain I typed my 4-digit code in the box and hit enter.’
    • ‘Eight of the illuminating plastic road safety boxes were smashed to pieces in a frenzied attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.’
    1. 4.1informal
      short for gearbox
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Simply plant the accelerator, try to keep pace with the gearchanges in the six-speed box and soak up the noise.’
      • ‘Most people assume the higher the horsepower rating on the box, the better the air compressor.’
      • ‘Ford's excellent five-speed Tiptronic auto box also works well, ensuring smooth gearchanges and a suitably speedy kickdown.’
      • ‘The gear ratios of the five-speed box are well spaced and the shifting is smooth.’
  • 5A mailbox at a post office, newspaper office, or other facility where a person may arrange to receive correspondence.

    ‘write to me care of PO Box 112’
  • 6North American vulgar slang A woman's vagina.

verb

[with object]often as adjective boxed
  • 1Put in or provide with a box.

    ‘the books are sold as a boxed set’
    ‘Muriel boxed up all of Christopher's clothes’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And they boxed up huge numbers of documents and simply shipped them off to Qatar without actually looking through them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have books (so many books) and since I had to move out of my previous home, many of them are still boxed up.’
    • ‘Appalled, Karr had all the rushes boxed up again and shipped to Washington.’
    • ‘‘Okay, now you,’ she said as the woman boxed up her dress.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because of their zany antics, the entire lot of them are boxed up and shipped off.’
    • ‘My mom, my sisters, and I boxed up photos, guns, and heirloom quilts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were boxed up by Homebase into three parcels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yeah right, with all this new kitchen equipment still lying around boxed up I'm going to be willing to do that.’
    • ‘So they've boxed up yeast, Band-aids, film and seeds to send into space.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The only involvement they need is to see their belongings boxed up on their way out the door!’
    package, pack, parcel, wrap, bundle, bale, crate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Enclose (a piece of text) within printed lines.
      ‘boxed sections in magazines’
      • ‘Cis-regulatory elements described in the text are boxed.’
      • ‘Conserved sequence motifs are in boldface type and boxed with a solid line.’
      • ‘These repeated words are boxed by a thin line in the alignment on the web page.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is visually appealing, with cartoons, bulleted checklists, and boxed exercises breaking up short chunks of text.’
    2. 1.2box someone in Restrict the ability of someone to move freely.
      ‘a van had double-parked alongside her car and totally boxed her in’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fear is the dominant weapon the establishment uses, to isolate people, box them in and keep them quiet.’
      • ‘Mr Reed said the other man stayed in the car but two members of the public used their vehicles to box him 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They tried to box her in, but she moved too quickly.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Apparently all the cars behind Mom and Dad were pulling out and passing our little caravan, thereby boxing Buddy in.’
      • ‘There was nowhere to move but forward, and the walls boxed me in like I was freight to be taken away.’
      • ‘The Ferrari then pulled in close in front of him, braking, while the Mercedes drew close behind, boxing him in.’
      • ‘If Canadians don't start thinking outside the box for themselves, they will be boxed in permanently.’
      • ‘‘'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.'’
      • ‘Never underestimate him, never try to box him in.’
      • ‘It almost made him claustrophobic, having cars on either side boxing him in, the only way out behind him or in front of him.’
      • ‘Carter eventually stopped his vehicle in the slow lane after police boxed him in.’
      • ‘If someone is here just to recruit students of color, it kind of boxes them in.’
      • ‘I tried to push my way out and run but I was boxed in by the others.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      hem in, fence in, close in, cage in, shut in, coop up, mew up
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • (right) 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’
      • ‘Unlike its predecessor, the console will play DVDs straight out of the box - no need for the optional extra DVD kit.’
      • ‘The main advantage of the Mac is that is just works, straight out of the box.’
      • ‘If somebody made an automatic shoe-lacer she'd expect it to work straight out of the box at the press of a button.’
      • ‘Let the developers give us, the paying, gaming public, products that are playable out of the box.’
      • ‘All of this stuff should work out of the box, but as I do not really read my own feeds, please let me know if something seems wrong.’
      • ‘This circuit seems to suit the car much better than the previous circuits and it was already good yesterday straight out of the box and I am pretty happy with it.’
      • ‘We slapped it into the Vancouver mobo and had the whole thing running first time within 30 minutes of taking the motherboard out of the box.’
      • ‘Most half-decent machines, even notebooks, are, out of the box, fast enough for everyday jobs already.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, it's more expensive and gives you fewer necessary applications right out of the box than Linux.’
      • ‘I miss quality image management - something I had with my Sony Vaio out of the box.’
      1. 1.1US From the very beginning; immediately.
        ‘his family memoir was a ratings smash right out of the box’
        • ‘You may not have this hot list out of the box, but you can hone it over time.’
        • ‘In addition, they have start paying for themselves straight out of the box.’
        • ‘Today's high school quarterback comes better prepared to shine 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.’
        • ‘It's hard to find other producers who've enjoyed such distinguished success 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.’
        • ‘I think we had some good chemistry, you know, between the two of us right out of the box.’
        • ‘I see too many publishers come in and expect to hit home runs the first time out of the box.’
        • ‘Buckman's approach - going global right out of the box - would probably strike many as overly risky.’
        • ‘Distributors didn't think that every film had to gross $150 million out of the box.’
  • think outside (or out of) the box

    • informal Think in an original or creative way.

      ‘you have to give him credit for thinking outside the box’
      • ‘He says he wants to encourage Vincentian youths to think outside the box and become pioneers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We wondered whether thinking outside the box really does enhance creativity.’
      • ‘As a pioneer used to thinking outside the box, Odent demonstrates familiarity with a formidable range of subjects, from ethnography to endocrinology.’
      • ‘Although dyslexic people have problems with reading, their brains are well suited for ideas and thinking outside the box.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Does the institution truly value candor, thinking outside the box and innovation, or merely give lip service to it?’
      • ‘To bring in new members, we have to be willing to try innovative ideas and think outside the box.’
      • ‘Surely this is a time for a new ethos of leadership and people who think outside the box and foster creativity.’
      • ‘Local authorities have been asked to think outside the box and bring forward imaginative and innovative projects.’
  • back through the box

    • (of a batted ball) hit in the direction of the pitcher past second base.

      • ‘I always tried to hit the ball back through the box because that is the largest unprotected area.’
      • ‘He crossed it back through the box beyond Sorin's reach and it came to Forlan again.’
      • ‘Clark smoked Williams’ first delivery back through the box to break the tie and propel the Giants into the World Series.’
      • ‘Fingers went right along with it and Mays promptly singled back through the box to knot the Series at one game apiece.’
  • in a box

    • Restricted or limited.

      ‘he will find himself in a box on US policy’
      • ‘So, White Tor horses live in a herd, as they would in the wild, not in a box.’
      • ‘You can't wrap love in a box or in a bunch of flowers that die after a couple weeks.’
      • ‘Put the race in a box, tie it up real tight and store it away in the back of your mind.’
      • ‘You know, I love the variety in the morning and the fact that we don't have to be in a box.’
      • ‘Anyway, the challenge of being whoever it is I am is that I don't fit in a box.’
      • ‘I mean, you make a very relevant point, it is not out there in a box, separate from everything else you do.’
      • ‘why watch people living in a box when you can watch people living everyday?’

Phrasal Verbs

  • box someone out

    • Block an opponent from an area by the position of one's body.

      ‘Miller neglected to box out his man in the final seconds’
      • ‘But in addition to defending the pick-and-roll, Madsen is more adept than Kandi at creating space in the paint by wrangling for inside position and then boxing out.’
      • ‘However, Georgetown stunk in those down-to-earth intangibles they used to excel at, such as boxing out, forcing opponents into bad shots, and making the extra dish.’
      • ‘Instead, it hit the skids because of breakdowns in basic areas: boxing out on the offensive boards, foul shooting, perimeter defense and shot selection.’
      • ‘Being a skilled rebounder requires knowing how to properly box out the opponent.’
      • ‘But teams with depth and big bodies who can box out are trouble.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

box

/bäks//bɑks/

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

noun

  • A slap with the hand on the side of a person's head given as a punishment or in anger.

    ‘she gave him a box on the ear’
    cuff, hit, thump, slap, smack, crack, swat, punch, fist, jab, hook, knock, thwack, bang, wallop
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • box someone's ears

    • Slap someone on the side of the head as a punishment or in anger.

      • ‘The Doctors fear Georgie shall be our only son, but do not say that to Anne, lest she box your ears.’
      • ‘And if you call me peach one more time, I'm gonna box your 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.’’
      • ‘If I weren't a pacifist, I would have boxed his ears.’
      • ‘When I once rushed in and called her by her Christian name she boxed my 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.’
      • ‘But Mr X took serious umbrage at my tinkling laughter - and wanted to box my ears!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘He put a red-hot boiled potato down my back,’ explained Bill, ‘and then mashed it with his foot; and I boxed his ears.’’
      • ‘I could have boxed his ears and found some ways of permanently keeping him away from me.’
      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

/bɑks//bäks/

Main definitions of box in US English:

: box1box2box3box4

box3

noun

  • 1A slow-growing European evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy dark green leaves. It is often grown as a hedge and for topiary.

    Buxus sempervirens, family Buxaceae

    • ‘Little did I expect that a, slightly worse for wear, sprig of green taken from the boxes would become a priceless Christmas moment.’
    • ‘Do not let your fragrant boxwood be cut into wood for the woodworker.’
    • ‘The Kadzik garden has two personalities, divided by the brick path and flanking boxwood hedges.’
    • ‘He intended it to be filled with roses and placed within a parterre of small flowers in radial beds edged by dwarf boxwood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And then as Waddley approached him, Padlin turned and raised the heavy boxwood above his head.’
    • ‘Our land is very flat, so I deliberately divided it up with hemlock, boxwood, and yew hedges.’
    • ‘The project has included the replanting of the formal garden in front of the house using boxwood, roses, catmint, lavender and clematis.’
    • ‘The hues, one to a box, ranged widely, including signal red, cadmium blue and yellow ocher.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And then there's boxwood, an evergreen that has a unique, sweet scent year-round.’
    • ‘Do you have boxwood hedges and well - pruned roses?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The terrain is mostly desert, and home to drought resistant plants such as myrtle, boxwood, and wild olive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pushing aside an interfering boxwood plant, she emerged into a small clearing.’
    • ‘As with the boxwood, check out the mature height of any azaleas before planting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then he filled in with small-leafed plants such as boxwood, eugenia, and Kurume azaleas.’
    • ‘Bury the clippings several feet underground, away from your boxwood plants.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A standard clipped box tree in a plain terracotta pot shows restrained good taste.’
    1. 1.1 The hard, heavy wood of the box tree, formerly widely used for engraving and for musical instruments.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are 34 full-color photographs of beautiful gages made of ebony, rosewood, boxwood, mahogany, cherry, applewood, whalebone, ivory etc.’
      • ‘Rosewood rather than boxwood was used for the single boxing, and the iron was produced by the Humphreysville Manufacturing Company.’
      • ‘Netsuke were fashioned from exquisitely carved ivory, horn, amber, or boxwood and sometimes embellished with gold or silver.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The hardwoods he mentions-box, cocoa - are probably short for boxwood and cocobolo.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The shaft is made of charcoal anodised aluminium, inlaid with indigenous dark kershout (candle wood) and light boxwood.’
      • ‘Equally intriguing is Shichifukujin, a netsuke of a peach carved out of boxwood that opens to reveal the stone inside.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Stanley Company began making rules in 1850, when Augustus Stanley founded A. Stanley & Co. to manufacture boxwood and ivory rules.’
      • ‘The most common was boxwood with brass trim.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The cross piece should be pearwood or boxwood for strong external threading, but again white oak is acceptable.’
  • 2Any of a number of trees that have wood or foliage similar to the box tree.

    several Australian eucalyptus trees (genus Eucalyptus, family Myrtaceae)

    the tropical American Venezuelan (or West Indian) box (Casearia praecox, family Flacourtiaceae), the wood of which has now largely replaced that of the European box

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The formal approach is met by a checkerboard garden of green boxwood and gray artemisia.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Old English, via Latin from Greek puxos.

Pronunciation

box

/bäks//bɑks/

Main definitions of box in US English:

: box1box2box3box4

box4

verb

Nautical
  • 1Recite the compass points in correct order.

    • ‘Hence a wind is said to box the compass when it blows from every quarter in rapid succession.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've ‘boxed the compass’ over 14 miles of broken mountains with 'em and come out within 100 meters from start-point.’
    • ‘The men say they could box the compass in Manx before they could box in English.’
    • ‘Deep Seeker reported that the wind boxed the compass from every direction except north.’
    • ‘Captain Hess boxed the compass and Mat Upper wound it.’
    • ‘They boxed the compass between a first and a third glass of wine.’
  • 2Make a complete change of direction.

    ‘by now the breeze had boxed the compass’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Having boxed the compass in reverse, like two parallel magnets in a swinging ship, they again faced the nightlighted hill.’
    • ‘My horse, Lightfoot, has boxed the compass, and it seems to me he has boxed it back again.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In general, the show boxed the compass under the four strong winds of realism, expressionism, surrealism and abstractionism.’
    • ‘It winds, bends, turns, and often boxes the compass on its 650-mile journey to the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

box

/bɑks//bäks/