Definition of packet in English:



  • 1A paper or cardboard container, typically one in which goods are packed to be sold.

    ‘sow seeds 2 to 3 inches apart or as recommended on the seed packets’
    • ‘The hut consisted of one room with two beds and a fridge containing a can of lemonade, a packet of hot dogs, an opened box of Belgian chocolates and a tube of ointment.’
    • ‘Many of the litter bins along the Esplanade were less than a quarter full while the gutters along the road and all the grassed areas contained paper, packets, bottles and empty cans.’
    • ‘A small bottle of your favorite seasoned salt, herb jelly or vinegar would also make a fine gift, as well as would a packet of herb seeds or a little pot of fresh herbs.’
    • ‘In the late 1800s, cigarettes were sold in soft paper packets.’
    • ‘A packet of questionnaires and envelopes was sent home with all children in the appropriate age range at each of the participating daycare centers.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the well-heeled woman is trying to use her special powers to pass a packet of tissue paper to the injured man through the closed glass door.’
    • ‘I realised that a few more things have gone: my canvas bag, my new water-proof jacket, a packet of batteries.’
    • ‘To help spread the word, Cycle of Hope is distributing a free information packet with something for everybody.’
    • ‘He handed her a packet of papers and walked away.’
    • ‘We were surprised to receive a bowl containing individual paper packets of sugar with our coffee.’
    • ‘Along with his twin brother Morris, he was involved in the family business, GB Nicol and Sons, that sold everything from a packet of pins to a complete house of furniture.’
    • ‘To confirm this, he led me through to his kitchen, where he opened a cupboard to reveal several large cardboard boxes containing packets of salt, each of which weighed about a pound.’
    • ‘On it he put a sheet of blank paper and a packet of crayons before he pulled over a chair.’
    • ‘A big pint mug came out of one, a packet of loose tea and a bag of sugar out of another.’
    • ‘The vast majority did have at least one piece of fruit, usually an apple or a banana, but most lunch boxes also contained a bar of chocolate and a packet of crisps.’
    • ‘The week following a trucker gave his personal view regarding the need to come off the bypass to get a packet of cigarettes and a paper.’
    • ‘Each week he sends the paper a packet of drawings.’
    • ‘There is a skills shortage nationally and, who knows, you may well end up with well-paid employment that you enjoy and that gives you the security of a weekly wage packet.’
    • ‘No problem, said Jim as he reached for a big mixing bowl and a packet of flour.’
    • ‘They say the food is inadequate, with meals consisting of little more than soup and chips, or a packet of cornflakes for breakfast.’
    pack, carton, box, cardboard box, container, case, package, parcel, padded bag
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    1. 1.1 The contents of a packet.
      ‘he smoked a packet of cigarettes a day’
  • 2dated A ship traveling at regular intervals between two ports, originally for the conveyance of mail.

    • ‘It was built to serve the mail packet boat from Milford Haven.’
    • ‘His shipboard view of a Dutch packet boat crossing the Channel conveys vividly both the exhilaration and the discomfort inherent in such a crossing.’
    • ‘The dark bulk of Vancouver Island lay on the port side of the steam packet, Laurie.’
    • ‘The packet ships were the big boats, they didn't have tenders that I know of.’
    • ‘Pittsford has a number of retail stores and restaurants that are built around an old lumber mill and it is the home of the Sam Patch, an excursion and charter boat that is a replica of an old canal packet boat.’
    passenger boat, passenger ship, ferry boat, packet boat, shuttle
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  • 3Computing
    A block of data transmitted across a network.


  • Make up into or wrap up in a packet.

    ‘packet a basket of take-out and head for Gooseberry Beach’
    • ‘On Fridays the cashier used to come down into the room with a tray holding the wages all packeted up.’
    • ‘We spent afternoons picking wild strawberries and raspberries and wildflowers, which were carefully packeted up and sent home to cheer everyone up.’


Mid 16th century: diminutive of pack, perhaps from Anglo-Norman French; compare with Anglo-Latin paccettum.