Main definitions of pack in US English:

: pack1pack2



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

    ‘a pack of cigarettes’
    • ‘Frank noisily rummages around a drawer and gets a pack of cigarettes and lights one.’
    • ‘Julie handed me a large piece of paper divided into four parts and a pack of pencil crayons.’
    • ‘And guess how much a pack of 10 chicken wings costs in here?’
    • ‘A loaf of bread would be £1.58, a first class stamp £1.13 and a pack of batteries £21.89.’
    • ‘I put the ashtray in the center of the coffee table and reached into the carton under the table to grab a pack of Marlboro Menthols.’
    • ‘A 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It comes in a flip-top box resembling a pack of Marlboro 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.’
    • ‘Normally, when you buy a pack of batteries, the package will tell you the voltage and current rating for the battery.’
    • ‘A pack of papers fell out into her lap, along with a single letter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An iPod can store up to ten thousand songs in a gleaming white box smaller than a pack of cigarettes.’
    • ‘I collected my pack of cigarettes from the crate, shoved them in my back pocket and hoisted the garbage bag over my shoulder.’
    • ‘I'd quite forgotten the thrill of opening a pack of real paper prints and strips of real negatives.’
    • ‘He checked his watch and walked to his dresser again for one more look before grabbing his wallet and a pack of mints.’
    • ‘Moose brought in a coffee can full of pens and a pack of loose-leaf paper.’
    packet, container, package, box, crate, carton, parcel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A set of playing cards.
      • ‘Deal out one card at a time to each player until the whole pack has been dealt.’
      • ‘Canasta is normally played with two standard 52 card packs plus four jokers (two from each pack), making 108 cards in all.’
      • ‘Before each deal, there should be a shuffled pack lying face up at the new dealer's left.’
      • ‘As each player folds, that player's cards are added to the bottom of the pack ready for the next deal.’
      • ‘The game is played with one joker only in the pack.’
      • ‘In some packs, the king of hearts is shown with a beard.’
      • ‘When the whole pack has been dealt and the players have played their last four cards the play ends.’
      • ‘Once all the cards in the pack have been dealt, it is impossible for any more hands to be dealt.’
      • ‘A joker can represent any card of the pack, at the choice of the person who plays it to the discard pile.’
      • ‘The Joker is either the highest or lowest card in the pack again at the whim of the person playing the card.’
      • ‘The dealer shuffles and offers the pack to his right hand neighbour to cut.’
      • ‘Some play that after the cut, the dealer looks at the bottom card of the pack.’
      • ‘When the pack is used up, all the played and discarded cards are gathered and shuffled to form a new pack to deal from.’
      • ‘There are a few examples where a tarot pack is used to play a game which is not really of the tarot family.’
      • ‘The entire pack is dealt out, giving twelve cards to each player.’
      • ‘Under certain conditions you can win the pile, and the object is to collect the whole pack of cards.’
      • ‘After the cards have been shuffled, each player draws a card from the pack.’
      • ‘Saltation's iPod Geek Tips #2: how to make a battery pack inside a pack of playing cards. superpixel's superpod tips.’
      • ‘In fact, Jass became so popular that the word Jass came to be used for any card game played with the Swiss pack.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 A collection of related documents, especially one kept in a folder.
      ‘an information pack’
      • ‘A walk pack including information and a sponsor form will be sent to you.’
      • ‘More than 60 potential buyers have signed confidentiality agreements and 37 have received information packs.’
      • ‘I would be pleased to send an information pack to anyone interested in this worthwhile scheme.’
      • ‘Information packs on the 2005 awards entry forms have been sent to schools and youth groups.’
      • ‘For classes, some books go on reserve, some materials go into course packs, and some copied excerpts are handed out in class.’
      • ‘We are going to make an information pack and appoint a pupil who will make sure supply teachers have any resources they need.’
      • ‘However, the Minister recently expressed grave concern at the low uptake rate and launched an information pack in a bid to boost parent confidence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He denied having any part in writing the information packs and advertisements and said they were largely available when he arrived.’
      • ‘Those schools who could not attend can collect their resource pack at the Carlow Enterprise Board office.’
      • ‘The Pier Hotel at Harwich is already involved, and historical packs with information on the town will also be sent out to potential clients.’
      • ‘An information pack was sent to my home before the trial but I didn't understand all of it.’
      • ‘Nomination details are set out in an information pack.’
      • ‘The charities which benefit from the events have provided visiting speakers and information packs outlining their work and needs.’
      • ‘The tree warden has an information pack and will be meeting the conservation/landscape office to discuss ideas.’
      • ‘The class sent away for a fundraising pack and received information and ideas as to how they could raise E1,000.’
      • ‘Information packs on fireworks laws have been sent to all licensed retailers, and illegal traders have been warned they will be stopped.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They will be accompanied by an information pack and sticker with the next two years' collection details.’
      • ‘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.’
    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.

    • ‘The leaders of the pack of hyenas were the first to strike the unsuspecting Barbarian.’
    • ‘He knew that they were the same pack of wolves he had seen on the hunting trip.’
    • ‘About the size of a very large Alsatian, the wolf hunts in packs and will eat anything from reindeer to household rubbish.’
    • ‘It is home to some of the last wild black rhino and the biggest packs of wild dog.’
    • ‘The wolf hunts in packs, without the single-mindedness of the falcon, but still with a predator's instincts.’
    • ‘Unlike pure dingoes, which, like wolves, live in packs ruled by an alpha male and female, wild packs of crossbreeds are uncontrolled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wolves primarily hunt in packs for large prey such as moose, elk, bison, musk oxen, and reindeer.’
    • ‘Ironically, the little drummer boy was killed by a pack of wild turkeys a year later while frolicking in the woods of New York.’
    • ‘Sharks of up to 4m could be picked out among the pack.’
    • ‘Wolf packs, like packs of wild dogs, operate on a strict pack hierarchy.’
    • ‘Thus, the potential also exists that the coyote pack was defending hunting grounds.’
    • ‘He said it was unusual for cheetahs to get together in packs of four.’
    • ‘Remember wolves hunt in packs but the wolf will take care of the sick, feed the old first, they do all of that.’
    • ‘Grey wolves live in a packs of up to twenty animals that are usually related to each other.’
    • ‘Red foxes are solitary animals and do not form packs like wolves.’
    • ‘At times she fell asleep in her seat and dreamed of being surrounded by packs of wild wolves.’
    • ‘They are social animals, living in packs of usually from 2 to 45 individuals.’
    • ‘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.’
    group, herd, troop
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A group of hounds kept and used for hunting, especially fox 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now, when I say fox hunting I mean the pack hounds and mounted gentry type of hunt.’
      • ‘He estimates no more than 25,000 foxes are caught by organised packs of hounds in a year.’
      • ‘The idea of grown men and women on horseback with packs of hounds, charging after one tiny animal is completely unacceptable.’
      • ‘In Britain the debate has been about hunting foxes with packs of hounds and riders in red coats.’
      • ‘The poisoning of hounds forced half a dozen masters of packs of foxhounds to abandon hunting altogether, to the detriment of the local economy.’
      • ‘In November 2004 there were 318 registered hound packs in England and Wales.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fox hunting is a country sport and packs of hounds are kept especially for hunting.’
      • ‘Otter hunting was the oldest organized sport in Great Britain in which packs of scent hounds were used for hunting.’
      • ‘There are ways to kill foxes to keep the numbers down and it shouldn't be with the use of packs of ravenous hounds.’
      • ‘The 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.’
      • ‘Our nearest neighbour across the water has its decision clear; hunting with packs of hounds will be banned.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Healthy hares can easily outrun foxes, but can rarely escape relentless packs of hounds chasing them for up to 90 minutes.’
      • ‘This leaves the question of what would happen to the packs of fox-hounds throughout the country that would no longer be required.’
      • ‘Foxes, stags, and hares can venture out on a Spring morning without fear of the red coats and their packs of hounds.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At the beginning there were just two Brownie Packs and two Girl Guide companies with two leaders for each group.’
      • ‘Troops and packs taking part must be registered by their leader by February 10.’
      • ‘Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys.’
    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’
      • ‘Three times during the race, Martin charged from the back of the pack to the front, and his reward was a fifth-place finish.’
      • ‘Candace Parker and Courtney Paris seem to have pulled ahead of the pack in the race for freshman of the year.’
      • ‘I want to be the leader of the pack, and to reach that goal, I'm going to have to sail in uncharted waters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I could qualify near the bottom of the pack at the next race; you never know what's going to happen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In short, the most dominant team is the team that stood out the most from the pack in a given season.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Being on her home turf, health spokesperson Liz McManus was leader of the pack as they strolled down the main street.’
      • ‘He is that, all right - the undisputed leader of the pack.’
      • ‘He often was among the leaders in conditioning sprints after finishing well behind the pack in his rookie year.’
      • ‘Rudi's Pet pulled out of the pack with two furlongs to go for a two-length victory.’
      • ‘Kaneb offers his thoughts on what sets Hood apart from 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some leaders are looking for business tools to help them break away from the pack.’
      • ‘Bell, which makes savoury pies, pastries and cakes at bakeries in Shotts and Livingston, leads the pack of interested parties.’
      • ‘He is somehow in 8th overall, even though the rest of the pack had raced away after he fell.’
      • ‘If you can teach your players the proper footwork, you'll be light years ahead of the pack.’
    4. 2.4 A group or set of similar things or people.
      ‘the reports were a pack of lies’
      ‘this unsavoury pack of rogues’
      • ‘The young often express their reverence by gathering in odorous packs and yelling loudly at bus stops.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Crowds, especially crowds that become hunting packs are very frightening.’
      • ‘Suddenly there is a commotion - a pack of motorcycles.’
      • ‘I gather up my trash and head back inside behind the pack of students.’
      • ‘She gestured towards the pack of hollering boys who had their shirts off with body paint painted across their bodies.’
      • ‘It's fun, but not distinctive enough to stand out from an increasingly crowded pack of action titles.’
      • ‘Carolina's offense, however, ranks near the middle of the pack in most offensive categories.’
      • ‘I smiled and grabbed the food going into the next room to join the pack of friends that were partying.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Outside the elite, the next 10 teams all appear able to beat each other on any given day and this has kept a whole pack of teams in a relatively close bunch.’
      • ‘Inside the show, it's one giant gang hug as packs of happy fans pose for snapshots with half-dressed porn stars.’
      • ‘Padlin stumbled into the pack of bettors clustered at the waist-high fence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Given the choice, she would rather have been anywhere but facing the press pack last night.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is such a great diverse and talented pack of bands here in the Twin Cities.’
    5. 2.5Rugby A team's forwards considered as a group.
      • ‘A forward from the pack should lead the team and spur them on.’
      • ‘It's easy to make parallels between the back rows but really a back row is only as good as the forward pack in front of it.’
      • ‘The foundation of the Huddersfield success was a heavy pack with a powerful back row linking with well-organised half-backs.’
      • ‘The forward packs from both teams appear to be where the strength lies.’
      • ‘Their pack won the forward battle hands down but it was period immediately before the break that ultimately decided the match.’
  • 3A knapsack or backpack.

    • ‘Latimer works with peevish focus, but then suddenly she's ready, shouldering an enormous external frame pack.’
    • ‘There are additional features on some backpacks that add to the price of the pack.’
    • ‘I shook my head in bewilderment, stood and stretched, then gathered up my pack.’
    • ‘As with any heavy weight, your child should bend at the knees and grab the pack with both hands when lifting a backpack to the shoulders.’
    • ‘Eight feet tall - hard to believe something like that could unfold from the small pack off of the Marine's backpack.’
    • ‘Pulled stitches, torn fabric, a hole courtesy of a Utah chipmunk, the 1980s vintage pack below was dumpster bound.’
    • ‘Schwarz lead them over to the door and quickly got something out of his pack and started to pick the lock.’
    • ‘Used to be you needed one pack for two-week treks and another for weekend overnights.’
    • ‘Camelbak's biggest pack is perfect for one-day peak ascents.’
    • ‘Our tester was burdened with a 10-pound snowboard strapped to his already portly pack.’
    • ‘Blair gathered up his pack and opened the door, still mumbling to himself.’
    • ‘She pulled her sling out of her pack and gathered three or four appropriately sized stones and set out to find her dinner.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And now that you're carrying half the weight, why use a seven-pound backpack when a three-pound pack is fine?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When a person carries a loaded backpack, the pack too moves up and down the same distance at the same time.’
    • ‘Two days per week, I backpack up and down stairs with 40 pounds in the pack.’
    • ‘If you can haul it up yourself - or better yet, sneak it into someone else's pack - it'll keep until you cook it.’
    • ‘Veon dropped to one knee and pulled his pistols out of his backpack, tossing the pack aside.’
    backpack, rucksack, knapsack, kitbag, duffel bag, bag, satchel, load, luggage
    View synonyms
  • 4

    short for pack ice
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Already, smaller ice packs have reduced hunting grounds for polar bears, leaving some dangerously underweight.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘To reduce pain and swelling, apply ice or a cold pack.’
    • ‘Cold packs can be applied on the area of injury to reduce the pain and oedema.’
    • ‘Self-help measures such as fomentation, cold packs, gentle massage with topical agents to relieve pain can be very soothing.’
    • ‘The cold is uncomfortable, but it is important to keep the cold pack in place.’
    • ‘You can also soothe your child's swollen parotid glands with either warm or cold packs.’
    • ‘Other treatments that may help include hot baths, applying hot or cold packs, and stretching or exercise.’
    • ‘Participants were asked to bring the plastic bag containing both saliva samples and the cold pack to the study visit.’
    • ‘Benign interventions include hot and cold packs, bandages, canes, lotions, vitamins and nutritional supplements.’
    • ‘They are often painful, and you may wish to apply a cold pack straight after the injury.’
    • ‘Using gentle pressure, apply ice or a cold pack to the area around the eye for 10 to 15 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.’
    • ‘If not engorged, prolapses can reduce spontaneously or be rolled back using a cold pack.’
    • ‘Frostbite is a recognized danger of the use of cold packs of ice therapy for sports injuries and soft tissue trauma.’
    • ‘Clinical practitioners often use herbal compresses and packs to aid in the healing process, which can cause allergic reactions for sensitive skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Patch and Pockets sat over to the side out of danger, nursing head bruises with cold packs pressed against their temples.’
    1. 5.1 A cosmetic mask.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So it should come as no surprise that it leads the cosmetic pack again with its new range The Makeup.’


[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’
    • ‘I got up and started packing my bag, putting clothes on in the process.’
    • ‘They had each packed a suitcase and loaded into the minivan.’
    • ‘In the bedroom, my suitcase was packed with a few clothes, my radio alarm clock, some CDs, some books, my laptop and my diary.’
    • ‘I quietly crept to my closet and I grabbed my duffle bag that was already packed with clothes.’
    • ‘I packed a small suitcase, throwing my clothes inside it without any manner of care.’
    • ‘By seven o'clock, Karen's bags were packed, loaded into the cab and she hugged Janine.’
    • ‘I packed a bag, taking only a few changes of clothes and my wallet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Crystal agreed and she packed a tote bag with a change of clothes and hopped into her car.’
    • ‘Should we be stocking up on water and packing an evacuation bag?’
    • ‘I will certainly never be late again, even if it means having to pack an overnight bag and travel by ScotRail the night before.’
    • ‘Will walked upstairs and changed into his normal clothes, and started packing a bag.’
    • ‘She packed a bag of clothes, and gathered a few of her things.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She quickly ran upstairs and packed a bag with her clothes for about a week.’
    • ‘Then I quickly changed my clothes and packed my backpack.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So, I finished packing my bag, with clothes, CDs, and stuff I would miss.’
    • ‘Passengers who lied when asked why they were travelling or if they packed their own bags would be betrayed by their blushes.’
    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’
      • ‘It is packed in an airtight container such as a foil pouch to prevent it from absorbing moisture.’
      • ‘Once inspected, the quills are packed into neat, 100-pound bundles before being graded and sold.’
      • ‘The goods are packed into ‘Aquaboxes’, which also contain a tap and filtration packet, so that they can be turned into water purification containers.’
      • ‘Sharon and Jane say they would normally suggest putting items into storage or packing them away in readiness for moving house.’
      • ‘You pack it tightly inside a sturdy container, it is extremely flammable.’
      • ‘Dry them before you pack them into their containers or plastic bag and then put them in your luggage.’
      • ‘Our waiter, considerate to the last, packed the leftovers neatly into a container to be reheated at home next day.’
      • ‘He had packed his chute himself before it was put into storage at the airfield ready to be used two days later.’
      • ‘She silently packed away everything except the cotton blanket wrapped around her, a piece of delicious looking bread, and the emerald.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The entire community mobilises to pack items for transport by mule or horse across the border.’
      • ‘Smaller items are packed into shipping containers for the trip back to Australia.’
      • ‘Imported apples are packed and graded using the latest technology including waxing, which gives them an extra shine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unlike a lot of bands on the verge of a tour, they won't be going through the regular checklist of getting the van road-ready or packing sleeping bags.’
      • ‘They worked inside, in the packing houses, washing, sorting, grading, and packing oranges at a dizzying pace.’
      • ‘The charity is even planning a portable gym that can be packed in a van and taken to village halls in the area.’
      • ‘His daily tasks include sorting out orders, packing the goods and transporting them to customers.’
      • ‘If you eat a lot of ice cream the containers with lids make a great receptacle for packing the caramel corn.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was revolted by bags of pre-prepared potatoes, smothered in gloopy preservative and packed in plastic.’
      • ‘With no preservatives or additives, Ultra Creamy is packed in two stick boxes that retail at $2.59.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The are usually packed in olive oil or vinegar, and are frequently slit so they absorb the flavor of the wine vinegar marinade in which they are soaked.’
      • ‘We advised the fingertip be packed in ice in line with Booth Hall's recommendation.’
      • ‘These were packed in a carton of ten, wrapped in a black cover to exclude light.’
      • ‘The vital marrow - which can only be kept for 72 hours - was due to arrive at St James's Hospital in Leeds packed in ice for the flight from America.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For the most part it was meat packed in ice, thawed and heated in the evenings.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its shelves are packed with files containing charts showing daily movements in ticket sales.’
    • ‘Readings, book launches, workshops, entertainment - this year's Scriobh Literary Festival is packed from cover to cover.’
    • ‘Their mailbox is packed daily with letters from well-wishers containing prayer cards, medals and rosaries.’
    • ‘The next few weeks in Kilcoo will be jammed packed with activities and events to suit all tastes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The catalogue is also packed with wicker and sisal baskets for storage or waste paper.’
    • ‘The final line-up for this year's Grassington Festival has been completed and is jammed packed with great entertainment for all.’
    • ‘It is packed with package deals for the Ryder Cup and interestingly, features hotels well away from the Co. Kildare venue.’
    • ‘A word of caution: watch out if a package packs a great deal of sightseeing into the itinerary.’
    • ‘These soft cover non-fiction titles are packed with pictures and facts about interesting figures in Canadian history.’
    • ‘For me though, this weekend was more notable for being packed with stuff that I didn't go to, and didn't miss.’
    • ‘Such a transformation can best be realized in an existing home that's packed with stuff.’
    • ‘For a small book, Tales Of The Yorkshire Coast, packs a lot in.’
    • ‘It is packed with anecdotes from family, friends and colleagues - covering every stage of his long racing career.’
    • ‘Robert Wyatt's Cuckooland, the ‘outsider’ on the list, is packed with songs that cover diverse subjects.’
    • ‘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?’
    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’
      • ‘He was overwhelmed at the number of people packed into the council's chamber and was stunned at the cheers and applause he received.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bleachers surround the court, and the park is packed for every game.’
      • ‘Local community leaders from 27 villages, students and teachers packed into city hall last Thursday as part of a volunteer training seminar.’
      • ‘Students and community members packed the Great Hall for a touching vigil for the victims of the recent tsunami disaster in southeast Asia.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘American music filled the room and the dance floor was packed with merrymakers.’
      • ‘A massive crowd packed into the Currane venue and they were entertained wonderfully by the excellent standard of the competitors.’
      • ‘The spacious Town Hall in the South Mayo Capital was packed to full capacity for the 8.30 pm show.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Kohl Center was filled to capacity as 19,790 fans packed the stands to see the game.’
      • ‘Record crowds packed into the Yorkshire Air Show yesterday for the greatest display in the event's history.’
      • ‘Scattered showers failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds who yesterday packed into the 250-acre showground.’
      • ‘The place was packed, but the crowd waited patiently for a long time to get the singer's autograph.’
      • ‘Crowds packed into halls and bars to hear Mick's songs and stories which he had perfected to a fine art.’
      • ‘Record crowds packed into the 60th anniversary Tockwith Agricultural Show during an exciting weekend of events.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The room is packed with press from all over the state and from national agencies.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You are much better off putting the keg into an empty garbage can and packing the surrounding space with ice.’
      • ‘Numerous small vacuoles pack the bundle sheath cell and the walls of these cells are not folded.’
      • ‘When the ‘toddlers' truce’ was lifted the search was on for programmes to pack the vacant hour; Twizzle helped fill the vacuum.’
      • ‘Open incisions are packed with sterile, saline-soaked laparotomy sponges and then covered with sterile drapes.’
      • ‘The wound may be packed (usually with iodoform gauze) to encourage further drainage.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Besides the well worn dusty cowboy boots he was also packing a gun under his green T-shirt.’


  • pack heat

    • informal Carry a gun.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What the thief didn't realize was the 80-year-old was packing heat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Me, I dress like a one-eyed Cajun who is packing heat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But before being allowed to pack heat, pilots must first be trained as federal flight deck officers.’
      • ‘As the weekly American newspaper Education Week put it in a recent article: ‘Are schools safer when teachers pack heat?’’
      • ‘Back in his gang days, Arnold said, he had packed a gun briefly.’
      • ‘My grandmother had a concealed weapons license and packed a gun in her purse from her early 20s until she died when she was 93.’
      • ‘But I'll bet half of those delegates, especially the rich ones, are packing heat at home to protect themselves.’
      • ‘It goes without saying that both bodyguards are 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.’
  • pack it in

    • informal Stop what one is doing.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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."’
  • pack a punch

    • 1Be capable of hitting with skill or force.

      ‘Rosie could pack a hefty punch’
      • ‘After all, the Coca-Cola kid is lean, mean — and packs a punch to rival most major countries.’
      • ‘Hurricane Emily still packs a punch and increases fears about floods in northeast Mexico hours after making landfall.’
      • ‘The engine packs a punch, with a retrofit Brabus SB2 power upgrade kit, bumping the power output to 111 bhp.’
      • ‘But Tarver, even though he packs a punch, was wary of trading with Jones.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The nickname is because he can pack a punch.’
      • ‘He packs a punch for a small guy.’
      • ‘He stands well under 1.80 metres but certainly packs a punch.’
      • ‘Vin packs a punch and I had to take it pretty slow — I couldn't just knock him back.’
      1. 1.1Have a powerful effect.
        ‘the Spanish wine packed quite a punch’
        • ‘Whether you're a DVD anorak or not, when you pop a new disc into your DVD player and press ‘Play’ on the remote control, there's no denying that you're looking for a menu screen that packs a punch.’
        • ‘The granddaughter of Rochdale boxing champion Jock McAvoy is packing a punch of her own - as a poet.’
        • ‘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).’
        • ‘He may be approaching 80, but the former cabinet minister and idol of the hard left still packs a punch.’
        • ‘Anyone up for re-election knows the issue 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.’
        • ‘Not always easy watching, but it is a film that packs a punch.’
        • ‘Physically Arnie is a giant of a man, but - perhaps surprisingly to many - he also packs a punch mentally too.’
        • ‘If language packs a punch, then David Foster Wallace's collection of short stories, Oblivion, is a knockout blow’
        • ‘Internationally revered for her film, video and photographic work Hegarty is a multimedia artist who packs a punch.’
        • ‘And yet, de Montalk's tense, restrained minimalism is capable of packing 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.’
  • packed out

    • informal (of a place) very crowded.

      • ‘It was a sold out show, and the place was packed out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘It will be packed out, they'll be queuing before we open and the atmosphere will be brilliant,’ he said.’
      • ‘Two last quick observations: absolutely every meeting is completely packed out, rammed to the rafters, with usually dozens of young people crowded round the entrances to try to catch what is being said.’
      • ‘Friends and family packed out a nightclub last week in memory of top West DJ Travis Bryan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Staged at a packed out Witton Park, the 11 track events were shared out between seven schools while it was a similar story in the field - six titles dished out to four schools.’
      • ‘Local pubs were packed out throughout the day and night and all local businesses were kept busy.’
      • ‘About 200 people packed out a meeting staged by the North East Essex Community Health Council at Holland public hall to discuss the proposals.’
      • ‘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.’
  • send someone packing

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

      • ‘Fortunately, they and I realized I wasn't ready to settle down and they sent me packing.’
      • ‘His side's attitude must be right or they will be sent packing.’
      • ‘And if they don't shape up, you will do all you can to send them packing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The judge bought the excuse though and sent him packing with nothing but a warning.’
      • ‘If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.’
      • ‘Club chiefs denied that Jeffs had been sent packing for disciplinary reasons - though they did admit his behaviour had not been perfect.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I can send them packing but I have elderly neighbours who may not be able to do that so easily.’
      • ‘The pensioners sent them packing with a threat to call the police.’
      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.

      • ‘He's packing the job in next month.’
      • ‘I think I'll pack the diet in for a while and just concentrate on the fitness side.’
      • ‘I’ve half a mind to pack the whole thing in.’
      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’
      • ‘From there he was packed off to Carmel College and then he went to London University to study economics.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘He discovered a hitherto undetected fracture and packed me off to North Shore Hospital.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 my children were younger, I was never too keen on the idea of packing them off for long durations of summer camp.’
      • ‘When I was twelve my dad packed me off to computer camp.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘There is an old saying in camping: if you pack it in, pack it out.’
      • ‘Family rafting adventures include a stop for a hot lunch on a pristine beach, where the ‘pack it in, pack it out’ philosophy is strictly enforced.’
      • ‘Littering is littering no matter how grand the adventure, and the code holds true for everyone: 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’
    • ‘Sheriffs and justices of the peace retained by a lord would not be impartial: juries could be packed or intimidated.’
    • ‘Thus did I read about FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court, and realize what a truly frightening thing this was.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Franklin Roosevelt wanted to pack the Court with New Dealers who would uphold his legislative program.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are bound to be mixed feelings about the change from an independent CHC to a local-authority committee which is packed with politicians.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The persistent charges of jury packing in Ireland led to calls for reform of the jury selection statutes.’


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.