Main definitions of pack in US English:

: pack1pack2



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

    ‘a pack of cigarettes’
    • ‘He checked his watch and walked to his dresser again for one more look before grabbing his wallet and a pack of mints.’
    • ‘I'd quite forgotten the thrill of opening a pack of real paper prints and strips of real negatives.’
    • ‘Moose brought in a coffee can full of pens and a pack of loose-leaf paper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It comes in a flip-top box resembling a pack of Marlboro cigarettes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Normally, when you buy a pack of batteries, the package will tell you the voltage and current rating for the battery.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Frank noisily rummages around a drawer and gets a pack of cigarettes and lights one.’
    • ‘And guess how much a pack of 10 chicken wings costs in here?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He pulled a pack of sugar out of the container and tore a side off of it.’
    • ‘I picked up a battery charger and a pack of rechargeable AAA batteries.’
    • ‘I collected my pack of cigarettes from the crate, shoved them in my back pocket and hoisted the garbage bag over my shoulder.’
    • ‘Julie handed me a large piece of paper divided into four parts and a pack of pencil crayons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    packet, container, package, box, crate, carton, parcel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A set of playing cards.
      • ‘After the cards have been shuffled, each player draws a card from the pack.’
      • ‘Some play that after the cut, the dealer looks at the bottom card of the pack.’
      • ‘A joker can represent any card of the pack, at the choice of the person who plays it to the discard pile.’
      • ‘There are a few examples where a tarot pack is used to play a game which is not really of the tarot family.’
      • ‘Under certain conditions you can win the pile, and the object is to collect the whole pack of cards.’
      • ‘The Joker is either the highest or lowest card in the pack again at the whim of the person playing the card.’
      • ‘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 entire pack is dealt out, giving twelve cards to each player.’
      • ‘The game is played with one joker only in the pack.’
      • ‘As each player folds, that player's cards are added to the bottom of the pack ready for the next deal.’
      • ‘The dealer shuffles and offers the pack to his right hand neighbour to cut.’
      • ‘Deal out one card at a time to each player until the whole pack has been dealt.’
      • ‘Before each deal, there should be a shuffled pack lying face up at the new dealer's left.’
      • ‘When the whole pack has been dealt and the players have played their last four cards the play ends.’
      • ‘In some packs, the king of hearts is shown with a beard.’
      • ‘Saltation's iPod Geek Tips #2: how to make a battery pack inside a pack of playing cards. superpixel's superpod tips.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once all the cards in the pack have been dealt, it is impossible for any more hands to be dealt.’
      • ‘In fact, Jass became so popular that the word Jass came to be used for any card game played with the Swiss pack.’
      • ‘Canasta is normally played with two standard 52 card packs plus four jokers (two from each pack), making 108 cards in all.’
    2. 1.2 A collection of related documents, especially one kept in a folder.
      ‘an information pack’
      • ‘I would be pleased to send an information pack to anyone interested in this worthwhile scheme.’
      • ‘The tree warden has an information pack and will be meeting the conservation/landscape office to discuss ideas.’
      • ‘A walk pack including information and a sponsor form will be sent to you.’
      • ‘However, the Minister recently expressed grave concern at the low uptake rate and launched an information pack in a bid to boost parent confidence.’
      • ‘The charities which benefit from the events have provided visiting speakers and information packs outlining their work and needs.’
      • ‘Nomination details are set out in an information pack.’
      • ‘The Pier Hotel at Harwich is already involved, and historical packs with information on the town will also be sent out to potential clients.’
      • ‘Information packs on the 2005 awards entry forms have been sent to schools and youth groups.’
      • ‘Those schools who could not attend can collect their resource pack at the Carlow Enterprise Board office.’
      • ‘For classes, some books go on reserve, some materials go into course packs, and some copied excerpts are handed out in class.’
      • ‘Information packs on fireworks laws have been sent to all licensed retailers, and illegal traders have been warned they will be stopped.’
      • ‘He denied having any part in writing the information packs and advertisements and said they were largely available when he arrived.’
      • ‘More than 60 potential buyers have signed confidentiality agreements and 37 have received information packs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are going to make an information pack and appoint a pupil who will make sure supply teachers have any resources they need.’
      • ‘An information pack was sent to my home before the trial but I didn't understand all of it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The class sent away for a fundraising pack and received information and ideas as to how they could raise E1,000.’
      • ‘They will be accompanied by an information pack and sticker with the next two years' collection details.’
    3. 1.3often the pack A quantity of fish, fruit, or other foods packed or canned in a particular season or year.
      • ‘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 wild animals, especially wolves, living and hunting together.

    • ‘Red foxes are solitary animals and do not form packs like wolves.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He knew that they were the same pack of wolves he had seen on the hunting trip.’
    • ‘Wolves primarily hunt in packs for large prey such as moose, elk, bison, musk oxen, and reindeer.’
    • ‘He said it was unusual for cheetahs to get together in packs of four.’
    • ‘About the size of a very large Alsatian, the wolf hunts in packs and will eat anything from reindeer to household rubbish.’
    • ‘Wolf packs, like packs of wild dogs, operate on a strict pack hierarchy.’
    • ‘Grey wolves live in a packs of up to twenty animals that are usually related to each other.’
    • ‘Sharks of up to 4m could be picked out among the pack.’
    • ‘Entire packs of grey wolves have also been plucked from the Canadian outback and released in Yellowstone Park.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The leaders of the pack of hyenas were the first to strike the unsuspecting Barbarian.’
    • ‘Thus, the potential also exists that the coyote pack was defending hunting grounds.’
    • ‘At times she fell asleep in her seat and dreamed of being surrounded by packs of wild wolves.’
    • ‘The wolf hunts in packs, without the single-mindedness of the falcon, but still with a predator's instincts.’
    • ‘It is home to some of the last wild black rhino and the biggest packs of wild dog.’
    • ‘Unlike pure dingoes, which, like wolves, live in packs ruled by an alpha male and female, wild packs of crossbreeds are uncontrolled.’
    • ‘Remember wolves hunt in packs but the wolf will take care of the sick, feed the old first, they do all of that.’
    • ‘They are social animals, living in packs of usually from 2 to 45 individuals.’
    • ‘Ironically, the little drummer boy was killed by a pack of wild turkeys a year later while frolicking in the woods of New York.’
    group, herd, troop
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A group of hounds kept and used for hunting, especially fox hunting.
      • ‘The poisoning of hounds forced half a dozen masters of packs of foxhounds to abandon hunting altogether, to the detriment of the local economy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now, when I say fox hunting I mean the pack hounds and mounted gentry type of hunt.’
      • ‘There are ways to kill foxes to keep the numbers down and it shouldn't be with the use of packs of ravenous hounds.’
      • ‘Foxes, stags, and hares can venture out on a Spring morning without fear of the red coats and their packs of hounds.’
      • ‘Fox hunting is a country sport and packs of hounds are kept especially for hunting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This leaves the question of what would happen to the packs of fox-hounds throughout the country that would no longer be required.’
      • ‘Our nearest neighbour across the water has its decision clear; hunting with packs of hounds will be banned.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The idea of grown men and women on horseback with packs of hounds, charging after one tiny animal is completely unacceptable.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He estimates no more than 25,000 foxes are caught by organised packs of hounds in a year.’
      • ‘In November 2004 there were 318 registered hound packs in England and Wales.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2 An organized group of Cub Scouts.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys.’
      • ‘At the beginning there were just two Brownie Packs and two Girl Guide companies with two leaders for each group.’
    3. 2.3the pack The main body of competitors following the leader or leaders in a race or competition.
      figurative ‘the company was demonstrating the kind of innovations needed to keep it ahead of the pack’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Rudi's Pet pulled out of the pack with two furlongs to go for a two-length victory.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bell, which makes savoury pies, pastries and cakes at bakeries in Shotts and Livingston, leads the pack of interested parties.’
      • ‘He often was among the leaders in conditioning sprints after finishing well behind the pack in his rookie year.’
      • ‘He is somehow in 8th overall, even though the rest of the pack had raced away after he fell.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you can teach your players the proper footwork, you'll be light years ahead of the pack.’
      • ‘Three times during the race, Martin charged from the back of the pack to the front, and his reward was a fifth-place finish.’
      • ‘He is that, all right - the undisputed leader of 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.’
      • ‘I could qualify near the bottom of the pack at the next race; you never know what's going to happen.’
      • ‘I want to be the leader of the pack, and to reach that goal, I'm going to have to sail in uncharted waters.’
      • ‘Being on her home turf, health spokesperson Liz McManus was leader of the pack as they strolled down the main street.’
      • ‘In short, the most dominant team is the team that stood out the most from the pack in a given season.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some leaders are looking for business tools to help them break away from the pack.’
      • ‘Candace Parker and Courtney Paris seem to have pulled ahead of the pack in the race for freshman of the year.’
    4. 2.4 A group or set of similar things or people.
      ‘the reports were a pack of lies’
      ‘this unsavoury pack of rogues’
      • ‘Given the choice, she would rather have been anywhere but facing the press pack last night.’
      • ‘Crowds, especially crowds that become hunting packs are very frightening.’
      • ‘Padlin stumbled into the pack of bettors clustered at the waist-high fence.’
      • ‘Just as predictably, the media pack has chased right behind the politicians.’
      • ‘In plush surroundings trimmed with red carpet, the cliques of minor celebrities gather in small, self-congratulatory packs, wine in hand.’
      • ‘Suddenly there is a commotion - a pack of motorcycles.’
      • ‘I smiled and grabbed the food going into the next room to join the pack of friends that were partying.’
      • ‘Inside the show, it's one giant gang hug as packs of happy fans pose for snapshots with half-dressed porn stars.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is such a great diverse and talented pack of bands here in the Twin Cities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Carolina's offense, however, ranks near the middle of the pack in most offensive categories.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I gather up my trash and head back inside behind the pack of students.’
      • ‘The young often express their reverence by gathering in odorous packs and yelling loudly at bus stops.’
      • ‘She gestured towards the pack of hollering boys who had their shirts off with body paint painted across their bodies.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 2.5Rugby A team's forwards considered as a group.
      • ‘The foundation of the Huddersfield success was a heavy pack with a powerful back row linking with well-organised half-backs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A forward from the pack should lead the team and spur them on.’
  • 3A knapsack or backpack.

    • ‘Two days per week, I backpack up and down stairs with 40 pounds in the pack.’
    • ‘Eight feet tall - hard to believe something like that could unfold from the small pack off of the Marine's backpack.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I shook my head in bewilderment, stood and stretched, then gathered up my pack.’
    • ‘There are additional features on some backpacks that add to the price of the pack.’
    • ‘Latimer works with peevish focus, but then suddenly she's ready, shouldering an enormous external frame pack.’
    • ‘Blair gathered up his pack and opened the door, still mumbling to himself.’
    • ‘Camelbak's biggest pack is perfect for one-day peak ascents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And now that you're carrying half the weight, why use a seven-pound backpack when a three-pound pack is fine?’
    • ‘Pulled stitches, torn fabric, a hole courtesy of a Utah chipmunk, the 1980s vintage pack below was dumpster bound.’
    • ‘Used to be you needed one pack for two-week treks and another for weekend overnights.’
    • ‘Our tester was burdened with a 10-pound snowboard strapped to his already portly pack.’
    • ‘Veon dropped to one knee and pulled his pistols out of his backpack, tossing the pack aside.’
    • ‘When a person carries a loaded backpack, the pack too moves up and down the same distance at the same time.’
    • ‘Schwarz lead them over to the door and quickly got something out of his pack and started to pick the lock.’
    • ‘While the knife is designed for tactical backup, there's nothing that says you can't stick it in a backpack or hunting pack.’
    • ‘She got up, stretched, and rummaged through Seiriô's large 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.’
    • ‘She pulled her sling out of her pack and gathered three or four appropriately sized stones and set out to find her dinner.’
    backpack, rucksack, knapsack, kitbag, duffel bag, bag, satchel, load, luggage
    View synonyms
  • 4

    short for pack ice
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hydrogen, the most potent fuel going, packs nearly three times the energy of gasoline.’
  • 5A hot or cold pad of absorbent material, especially as used for treating an 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Using gentle pressure, apply ice or a cold pack to the area around the eye for 10 to 15 minutes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cold packs can be bought at the store, or instead, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables.’
    • ‘They are often painful, and you may wish to apply a cold pack straight after the injury.’
    • ‘Participants were asked to bring the plastic bag containing both saliva samples and the cold pack to the study visit.’
    • ‘To reduce pain and swelling, apply ice or a cold pack.’
    • ‘The cold is uncomfortable, but it is important to keep the cold pack in place.’
    • ‘Clinical practitioners often use herbal compresses and packs to aid in the healing process, which can cause allergic reactions for sensitive skin.’
    • ‘Self-help measures such as fomentation, cold packs, gentle massage with topical agents to relieve pain can be very soothing.’
    • ‘Other treatments that may help include hot baths, applying hot or cold packs, and stretching or exercise.’
    • ‘Frostbite is a recognized danger of the use of cold packs of ice therapy for sports injuries and soft tissue trauma.’
    • ‘If not engorged, prolapses can reduce spontaneously or be rolled back using a cold pack.’
    • ‘You can also soothe your child's swollen parotid glands with either warm or cold packs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cold packs can be applied on the area of injury to reduce the pain and oedema.’
    • ‘Patch and Pockets sat over to the side out of danger, nursing head bruises with cold packs pressed against their temples.’
    • ‘Benign interventions include hot and cold packs, bandages, canes, lotions, vitamins and nutritional supplements.’
    1. 5.1 A cosmetic mask.
      • ‘So it should come as no surprise that it leads the cosmetic pack again with its new range The Makeup.’
      • ‘Instead, when warranted, use a light protein pack or hair mask followed by a clarifying shampoo.’
      • ‘Finally, she put on the contents of the hygiene pack: first the hair net, then the mask, then the safety goggles, then the gloves.’
      • ‘Atmosphere also offers algae body packs, pressotherapy, manicures and pedicures.’
      • ‘A fantastic value this very handy cosmetic pack offers convenient accessories for a beautifying facial regimen -- on the road, at the gym, or in the comfort of home.’
      • ‘To do a body pack, evenly apply it to your skin, beginning with your feet and working up so it remains on your face, where skin is thin and sensitive.’


[with object]
  • 1Fill (a suitcase or bag), especially with clothes and other items needed when away from home.

    no object ‘she had packed and checked out of the hotel’
    ‘I packed a bag with a few of my favorite clothes’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Crystal agreed and she packed a tote bag with a change of clothes and hopped into her car.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Will walked upstairs and changed into his normal clothes, and started packing a bag.’
    • ‘I got up and started packing my bag, putting clothes on in the process.’
    • ‘Then I quickly changed my clothes and packed my backpack.’
    • ‘She packed a bag of clothes, and gathered a few of her things.’
    • ‘So, I finished packing my bag, with clothes, CDs, and stuff I would miss.’
    • ‘In the bedroom, my suitcase was packed with a few clothes, my radio alarm clock, some CDs, some books, my laptop and my diary.’
    • ‘Should we be stocking up on water and packing an evacuation bag?’
    • ‘I quietly crept to my closet and I grabbed my duffle bag that was already packed with clothes.’
    • ‘Maybe I should pack my bag and grab the next flight north.’
    • ‘Once I was sure they were there, I helped my mom pack the suitcases and bags in the car.’
    • ‘Passengers who lied when asked why they were travelling or if they packed their own bags would be betrayed by their blushes.’
    • ‘I packed a small suitcase, throwing my clothes inside it without any manner of care.’
    • ‘They had each packed a suitcase and loaded into the minivan.’
    • ‘I packed a bag, taking only a few changes of clothes and my wallet.’
    • ‘I will certainly never be late again, even if it means having to pack an overnight bag and travel by ScotRail the night before.’
    • ‘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.’
    fill, fill up, put things in, load, stuff, cram
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Place (something) in a container, especially for transportation or storage.
      ‘I packed up my stuff and drove to Detroit’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our waiter, considerate to the last, packed the leftovers neatly into a container to be reheated at home next day.’
      • ‘His daily tasks include sorting out orders, packing the goods and transporting them to customers.’
      • ‘It is packed in an airtight container such as a foil pouch to prevent it from absorbing moisture.’
      • ‘The entire community mobilises to pack items for transport by mule or horse across the border.’
      • ‘They worked inside, in the packing houses, washing, sorting, grading, and packing oranges at a dizzying pace.’
      • ‘Once inspected, the quills are packed into neat, 100-pound bundles before being graded and sold.’
      • ‘Imported apples are packed and graded using the latest technology including waxing, which gives them an extra shine.’
      • ‘Sharon and Jane say they would normally suggest putting items into storage or packing them away in readiness for moving house.’
      • ‘Smaller items are packed into shipping containers for the trip back to Australia.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dry them before you pack them into their containers or plastic bag and then put them in your luggage.’
      • ‘He had packed his chute himself before it was put into storage at the airfield ready to be used two days later.’
      • ‘The goods are packed into ‘Aquaboxes’, which also contain a tap and filtration packet, so that they can be turned into water purification containers.’
      • ‘The charity is even planning a portable gym that can be packed in a van and taken to village halls in the area.’
      • ‘If you eat a lot of ice cream the containers with lids make a great receptacle for packing the caramel corn.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She silently packed away everything except the cotton blanket wrapped around her, a piece of delicious looking bread, and the emerald.’
      • ‘You pack it tightly inside a sturdy container, it is extremely flammable.’
      stow, put away, store, box up, crate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object Be capable of being folded up for transportation or storage.
      ‘these silver foil blankets pack into a small area’
      • ‘Be aware that trolley-bags usually have a chassis, so they do not fold up and pack away so easily.’
    3. 1.3 Store (something perishable) in a specified substance in order to preserve it.
      ‘the organs were packed in ice’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Glasshouse plants used for nodule enzyme activity measurements were unpotted, rinsed free of sand and packed in ice.’
      • ‘It would have been packed in salt in order to make the journey.’
      • ‘These were packed in a carton of ten, wrapped in a black cover to exclude light.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We advised the fingertip be packed in ice in line with Booth Hall's recommendation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With no preservatives or additives, Ultra Creamy is packed in two stick boxes that retail at $2.59.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Cram a large number of things into (a container or space)

    ‘it was a large room, packed with beds jammed side by side’
    • ‘This area was packed with legends and stories surrounding plants.’
    • ‘It is packed with anecdotes from family, friends and colleagues - covering every stage of his long racing career.’
    • ‘The catalogue is also packed with wicker and sisal baskets for storage or waste paper.’
    • ‘The next few weeks in Kilcoo will be jammed packed with activities and events to suit all tastes.’
    • ‘Their mailbox is packed daily with letters from well-wishers containing prayer cards, medals and rosaries.’
    • ‘Such a transformation can best be realized in an existing home that's packed with stuff.’
    • ‘Robert Wyatt's Cuckooland, the ‘outsider’ on the list, is packed with songs that cover diverse subjects.’
    • ‘These soft cover non-fiction titles are packed with pictures and facts about interesting figures in Canadian history.’
    • ‘The final line-up for this year's Grassington Festival has been completed and is jammed packed with great entertainment for all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His small flat off the King's Road is packed with technical books, laptops and charts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A word of caution: watch out if a package packs a great deal of sightseeing into the itinerary.’
    • ‘A whopping 256 nonblocking Fibre Channel ports have been packed into the system.’
    • ‘How long can an average person survive in an airtight room that's packed with plants, assuming there is plenty of food and water?’
    • ‘Readings, book launches, workshops, entertainment - this year's Scriobh Literary Festival is packed from cover to cover.’
    • ‘It is packed with package deals for the Ryder Cup and interestingly, features hotels well away from the Co. Kildare venue.’
    • ‘For a small book, Tales Of The Yorkshire Coast, packs a lot in.’
    • ‘Its shelves are packed with files containing charts showing daily movements in ticket sales.’
    • ‘For me though, this weekend was more notable for being packed with stuff that I didn't go to, and didn't miss.’
    1. 2.1often as adjective packed (of a large number of people) crowd into and fill (a room, building, or place)
      ‘the waiting room was packed’
      • ‘Bleachers surround the court, and the park is packed for every game.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Record crowds packed into the Yorkshire Air Show yesterday for the greatest display in the event's history.’
      • ‘A massive crowd packed into the Currane venue and they were entertained wonderfully by the excellent standard of the competitors.’
      • ‘The Kohl Center was filled to capacity as 19,790 fans packed the stands to see the game.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘American music filled the room and the dance floor was packed with merrymakers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The place was packed, but the crowd waited patiently for a long time to get the singer's autograph.’
      • ‘The spacious Town Hall in the South Mayo Capital was packed to full capacity for the 8.30 pm show.’
      • ‘Scattered showers failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds who yesterday packed into the 250-acre showground.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was overwhelmed at the number of people packed into the council's chamber and was stunned at the cheers and applause he received.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The room is packed with press from all over the state and from national agencies.’
      • ‘Record crowds packed into the 60th anniversary Tockwith Agricultural Show during an exciting weekend of events.’
      • ‘Drawn in part by the buzz surrounding the film, people packed the theaters and formed long lines for tickets.’
      • ‘Scarlett looked around the huge room which was packed to capacity.’
      crowded, full, filled, filled to capacity, thronged, mobbed, loaded, crammed, jammed, solid, packed like sardines, overcrowded, overfull, overloaded, brimful, alive, teeming, seething, swarming
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Cover, surround, or fill (something)
      ‘he packed the wounds with healing malaguetta’
      • ‘When the ‘toddlers' truce’ was lifted the search was on for programmes to pack the vacant hour; Twizzle helped fill the vacuum.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Open incisions are packed with sterile, saline-soaked laparotomy sponges and then covered with sterile drapes.’
      • ‘You are much better off putting the keg into an empty garbage can and packing the surrounding space with ice.’
      • ‘The wound may be packed (usually with iodoform gauze) to encourage further drainage.’
      • ‘Numerous small vacuoles pack the bundle sheath cell and the walls of these cells are not folded.’
      wrap, wrap up, package, parcel, tie, tie up, swathe, swaddle, encase, enfold, envelop, cloak, bale, bundle, cover, cover up, protect
      throng, crowd, crowd into, fill, fill to overflowing, cram full, mob, cram, jam, press into, squash into, squeeze into
      View synonyms
  • 3Rugby
    no object (of players) form or take their places in a scrum.

    ‘we often packed down with only seven men’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 4informal Carry (a gun)

    ‘a sixteen-year-old can make a fortune selling drugs and pack a gun in the process’
    • ‘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.’


  • pack heat

    • informal Carry a gun.

      • ‘I'll never be one to tell another human being they don't have a right to defend themselves in the face of death, but I will say it's reasonable that we all know who's packing heat.’
      • ‘It goes without saying that both bodyguards are packing heat.’
      • ‘What the thief didn't realize was the 80-year-old was packing heat.’
      • ‘And, if you don't want to wind up in that situation, you need to pack heat and be prepared to resist at the point of abduction.’
      • ‘But before being allowed to pack heat, pilots must first be trained as federal flight deck officers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like I said, this weather better change soon before I start packing heat and I suddenly go crazy and climb a bell tower and try to shoot up the clouds.’
      • ‘Nearly 45,000 Utahns have concealed-carry permits that allow them to legally pack heat anywhere except in a handful of ‘secure areas,’ such as airports, prisons, mental institutions and courts.’
      • ‘But I'll bet half of those delegates, especially the rich ones, are packing heat at home to protect themselves.’
      • ‘Me, I dress like a one-eyed Cajun who is packing heat.’
      • ‘Back in his gang days, Arnold said, he had packed a gun briefly.’
      • ‘As the weekly American newspaper Education Week put it in a recent article: ‘Are schools safer when teachers pack heat?’’
  • pack it in

    • informal Stop what one is doing.

      • ‘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 could pack a hefty punch’
      • ‘He stands well under 1.80 metres but certainly packs a punch.’
      • ‘It was small, light weight, 5.7mm, not quite an assault rifle but it packed a punch.’
      • ‘The player has good range, covers a lot of ground, and packs a punch with his heavy hits.’
      • ‘Hurricane Emily still packs a punch and increases fears about floods in northeast Mexico hours after making landfall.’
      • ‘But Tarver, even though he packs a punch, was wary of trading with Jones.’
      • ‘The engine packs a punch, with a retrofit Brabus SB2 power upgrade kit, bumping the power output to 111 bhp.’
      • ‘Vin packs a punch and I had to take it pretty slow — I couldn't just knock him back.’
      • ‘The nickname is because he can pack a punch.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Have a powerful effect.
        ‘the Spanish wine packed quite a punch’
        • ‘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 granddaughter of Rochdale boxing champion Jock McAvoy is packing a punch of her own - as a poet.’
        • ‘Physically Arnie is a giant of a man, but - perhaps surprisingly to many - he also packs a punch mentally too.’
        • ‘Anyone up for re-election knows the issue packs a punch.’
        • ‘Not always easy watching, but it is a film that packs a punch.’
        • ‘And yet, de Montalk's tense, restrained minimalism is capable of packing a punch.’
        • ‘If language packs a punch, then David Foster Wallace's collection of short stories, Oblivion, is a knockout blow’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘He may be approaching 80, but the former cabinet minister and idol of the hard left still packs a punch.’
        • ‘Internationally revered for her film, video and photographic work Hegarty is a multimedia artist who packs 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).’
  • packed out

    • informal (of a place) very crowded.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘It will be packed out, they'll be queuing before we open and the atmosphere will be brilliant,’ he said.’
      • ‘Local pubs were packed out throughout the day and night and all local businesses were kept busy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Friends and family packed out a nightclub last week in memory of top West DJ Travis Bryan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘About 200 people packed out a meeting staged by the North East Essex Community Health Council at Holland public hall to discuss the proposals.’
      • ‘It was a sold out show, and the place was packed out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • send someone packing

    • informal Make someone leave in an abrupt or peremptory way.

      • ‘I can send them packing but I have elderly neighbours who may not be able to do that so easily.’
      • ‘Club chiefs denied that Jeffs had been sent packing for disciplinary reasons - though they did admit his behaviour had not been perfect.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The judge bought the excuse though and sent him packing with nothing but a warning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His side's attitude must be right or they will be sent packing.’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • pack something in

    • Give up an activity or job.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He's packing the job in next month.’
      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.

      ‘they packed me off to the academy in Baltimore’
      • ‘When I was twelve my dad packed me off to computer camp.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘From there he was packed off to Carmel College and then he went to London University to study economics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 my children were younger, I was never too keen on the idea of packing them off for long durations of summer camp.’
      • ‘He discovered a hitherto undetected fracture and packed me off to North Shore Hospital.’
      • ‘I packed him off to bed but he couldn't settle and he definitely couldn't sleep.’
      • ‘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.’
      send off, dispatch, dismiss, bundle off
      View synonyms
  • pack something out

    • Carry something away rather than leaving it behind (used especially with respect to refuse at remote campsites)

      ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is an old saying in camping: if you pack it in, pack it out.’


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 US English:

: pack1pack2



[with object]
  • 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.’
    • ‘Franklin Roosevelt wanted to pack the Court with New Dealers who would uphold his legislative program.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sheriffs and justices of the peace retained by a lord would not be impartial: juries could be packed or intimidated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At the same time, oversight agencies are packed with hunters and hunting supporters.’
    • ‘The persistent charges of jury packing in Ireland led to calls for reform of the jury selection statutes.’
    • ‘Thus did I read about FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court, and realize what a truly frightening thing this was.’


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.