Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for matchbox
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But Davy had brought out his matchbox, and was striking a light.

  • She bent forward, gripped a matchbox, and lit the cigarette for him.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • Sara flushed, and, having lit her cigarette, tendered him his matchbox with an icy little word of thanks.

    The Hermit of Far End Margaret Pedler
  • Without waking his companions he found a matchbox and lit the cigarette.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Among the jetsam of those restless Fundy tides almost anything that will float may appear, from a matchbox to a barn.

    The House in the Water Charles G. D. Roberts
  • Then he fumbled about in the darkness for a lamp and matchbox.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • In her right hand was found the charred stump of a match, and in her left a matchbox.

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

    Typhoon Joseph Conrad
  • The blow was aimed at Dinny Johnny, but the moment was miscalculated, and it fell on "matchbox" instead.

    All on the Irish Shore E. Somerville and Martin Ross
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for matchbox

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for matchbox

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for matchbox

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for matchbox