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[pak-uh-jing] /ˈpæk ə dʒɪŋ/
an act or instance of packing or forming packages:
At the end of the production line is a machine for packaging.
the package in which merchandise is sold or displayed:
Attractive packaging can help sell a product.
Origin of packaging
First recorded in 1870-75; package + -ing1


[pak-ij] /ˈpæk ɪdʒ/
a bundle of something, usually of small or medium size, that is packed and wrapped or boxed; parcel.
a container, as a box or case, in which something is or may be packed.
something conceived of as a compact unit having particular characteristics:
That child is a package of mischief.
the packing of goods, freight, etc.
a finished product contained in a unit that is suitable for immediate installation and operation, as a power or heating unit.
a group, combination, or series of related parts or elements to be accepted or rejected as a single unit.
a complete program produced for the theater, television, etc., or a series of these, sold as a unit.
verb (used with object), packaged, packaging.
to make or put into a package.
to design and manufacture a package for (a product or series of related products):
They package their soaps in eye-catching wrappers.
to group or combine (a series of related parts) into a single unit.
to combine the various elements of (a tour, entertainment, etc.) for sale as a unit.
First recorded in 1605-15, package is from the Dutch word pakkage baggage. See pack1, -age
Related forms
packageable, adjective
mispackage, verb (used with object), mispackaged, mispackaging.
mispackaged, adjective
subpackage, noun
unpackaged, adjective
1. Package, pack, packet, parcel refer to a bundle or to something fastened together. A package is a bundle of things packed and wrapped: a package from the drugstore. A pack is a large bundle or bale of things put or fastened together, usually wrapped up or in a bag, case, etc., to be carried by a person or a beast of burden: a peddler's pack. A packet, originally a package of letters or dispatches, is a small package or bundle: a packet of gems. A parcel is an object or objects wrapped up to form a single, small bundle: a parcel containing two dresses. 2. carton. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for packaging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After passing him, the washing machines went to the packaging section.

    Cost of Living Robert Sheckley
  • A popular type and packaging of mild Cheddar, originally English.

    The Complete Book of Cheese Robert Carlton Brown
  • They roast it, grind it, and then it goes into these hoppers, and then down to the packaging machinery.

    Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Adequate refrigeration is requisite both to chill the curd before molding and to preserve it after packaging.

    The Book of Cheese

    Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
  • Jacob amused himself by rigging a fishing line out of some of the packaging material that contained his food.

    The Reluctant Weapon Howard L. Myers
British Dictionary definitions for packaging


  1. the box or wrapping in which a product is offered for sale
  2. the design of such a box or wrapping, esp with reference to its ability to attract customers
the presentation of a person, product, television programme, etc, to the public in a way designed to build up a favourable image
the work of a packager


any wrapped or boxed object or group of objects
  1. a proposition, offer, or thing for sale in which separate items are offered together as a single or inclusive unit
  2. (as modifier): a package holiday, a package deal
a complete unit consisting of a number of component parts sold separately
the act or process of packing or packaging
(computing) a set of programs designed for a specific type of problem in statistics, production control, etc, making it unnecessary for a separate program to be written for each problem
(US & Canadian) another word for pack1 (sense 8)
verb (transitive)
to wrap in or put into a package
to design and produce a package for (retail goods)
to group (separate items) together as a single unit
to compile (complete books) for a publisher to market
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 packaging



1530s, "the act of packing," from pack (n.) + -age; or from cognate Dutch pakkage "baggage." The main modern sense of "bundle, parcel" is first attested 1722. Package deal is from 1952.



1915, from package (n.). Related: Packaged; packaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for packaging



  1. A large sum of money; bundle: That must have cost a package (1956+)
  2. The collective terms of acontract or agreement: The lefthander signed for a package including 10 million in two years, three McDonald's franchises, and the state of South Dakota (1952+)
  3. A particular combination or set: That rental car is part of the vacation package (1931+)
  4. The manner and quality of presentation, the trappings and ornamentation, etc, of something: It isn't what you've got, it's the package that impresses people (1947+)
  5. Someone who has an array of good qualities, plus good looks: She's the total package/ package that walked in my life


: He never peddled his idea because he didn't know how to package it (1947+)

Related Terms

no prize package

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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