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[mach-boks] /ˈmætʃˌbɒks/
a small box, usually of cardboard, for matches.
Origin of matchbox
First recorded in 1780-90; match1 + box1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for matchbox
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Without waking his companions he found a matchbox and lit the cigarette.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Then he fumbled about in the darkness for a lamp and matchbox.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But Davy had brought out his matchbox, and was striking a light.

  • He extended his hand to put back the matchbox in its corner of the shelf.

    Typhoon Joseph Conrad
  • Entering the other, he felt all over his table for the matchbox.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • Hunterleys turned towards the newcomer as he handed his matchbox.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • She bent forward, gripped a matchbox, and lit the cigarette for him.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • My hands trembled so much that twice I missed the rough paper of the matchbox.

    The Red Room H. G. Wells
  • The gentleman growled again and lit his cigar from his own matchbox.

    Priscilla's Spies George A. Birmingham
British Dictionary definitions for matchbox


a small box for holding matches
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for matchbox

also match-box, 1786, from match (n.1) + box (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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