box

1
[boks]

noun

verb (used with object)

Verb Phrases

box out, Basketball. to position oneself between an opposing player and the basket to hinder the opposing player from rebounding or tipping in a shot; block out.

Idioms

    out of the box, Australian Slang. remarkable or exceptional; extraordinary.
    outside the box, Informal. in an innovative or unconventional manner; with a fresh perspective: You have to think outside the box and adapt those strategies to your business.Also out of the box.

Origin of box

1
before 1000; Middle English, Old English, probably < Late Latin buxis, a reshaping of Latin pyxis; see boîte
Related formsbox·like, adjective

box

2
[boks]

noun

a blow, as with the hand or fist: He gave the boy a box on his ear.

verb (used with object)

to strike with the hand or fist, especially on the ear.
to fight against (someone) in a boxing match.

verb (used without object)

to fight with the fists; participate in a boxing match; spar.
to be a professional or experienced prizefighter or boxer: He has boxed since he was 16.

Origin of box

2
1300–50; Middle English box a blow, boxen to beat, of uncertain origin

box

3
[boks]

noun

an evergreen shrub or small tree of the genus Buxus, especially B. sempervirens, having shiny, elliptic, dark-green leaves, used for ornamental borders, hedges, etc., and yielding a hard, durable wood.
the wood itself.
any of various other shrubs or trees, especially species of eucalyptus.
Compare boxwood.

Origin of box

3
before 950; Middle English, Old English < Latin buxus boxwood < Greek pýxos

box

4
[boks]

verb (used with object)

Nautical. to boxhaul (often followed by off).
Meteorology. to fly around the center of a storm in a boxlike pattern in order to gather meteorological data: to box a storm.

Origin of box

4
1745–55; probably < Spanish bojar to sail around, earlier boxar, perhaps < Catalan vogir to (cause to) turn ≪ Latin volvere (see revolve); influenced by box1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for box

Contemporary Examples of box

Historical Examples of box

  • She was in a box with two men—one old and one young—and an older woman.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The box was passed from hand to hand, and excited universal admiration.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • I'm in the Critchleys' box to-night and I understand she's to be there.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • A broken kitchen knife had been thrust through a bit of the paper on the box.

  • "I believe the Evil One is in the box," said he, with some vexation.

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne


British Dictionary definitions for box

box

1

noun

a receptacle or container made of wood, cardboard, etc, usually rectangular and having a removable or hinged lid
Also called: boxful the contents of such a receptacle or the amount it can containhe ate a whole box of chocolates
any of various containers for a specific purposea money box; letter box
(often in combination) any of various small cubicles, kiosks, or sheltersa telephone box or callbox; a sentry box; a signal box on a railway
a separate compartment in a public place for a small group of people, as in a theatre or certain restaurants
an enclosure within a courtroomSee jury box, witness box
a compartment for a horse in a stable or a vehicleSee loosebox, horsebox
British a small country house occupied by sportsmen when following a field sport, esp shooting
  1. a protective housing for machinery or mechanical parts
  2. the contents of such a box
  3. (in combination)a gearbox
a shaped device of light tough material worn by sportsmen to protect the genitals, esp in cricket
a section of printed matter on a page, enclosed by lines, a border, or white space
a central agency to which mail is addressed and from which it is collected or redistributeda post-office box; to reply to a box number in a newspaper advertisement
the central part of a computer or the casing enclosing it
short for penalty box
baseball either of the designated areas in which the batter may stand
the raised seat on which the driver sits in a horse-drawn coach
NZ a wheeled container for transporting coal in a mine
Australian and NZ an accidental mixing of herds or flocks
a hole cut into the base of a tree to collect the sap
short for Christmas box
a device for dividing water into two or more ditches in an irrigation system
an informal name for a coffin
taboo, slang the female genitals
be a box of birds NZ to be very well indeed
the box British informal television
think outside the box or think out of the box to think in a different, innovative, or original manner, esp with regard to business practices, products, systems, etc
tick all the boxes to satisfy all of the apparent requirements for success
out of the box Australian informal outstanding or excellenta day out of the box

verb

(tr) to put into a box
(tr ; usually foll by in or up) to prevent from moving freely; confine
(tr foll by in) printing to enclose (text) within a ruled frame
(tr) to make a cut in the base of (a tree) in order to collect the sap
(tr) Australian and NZ to mix (flocks or herds) accidentally
(tr sometimes foll by up) NZ to confuseI am all boxed up
nautical short for boxhaul
box the compass nautical to name the compass points in order
Derived Formsboxlike, adjective

Word Origin for box

Old English box, from Latin buxus from Greek puxos box ³

box

2

verb

(tr) to fight (an opponent) in a boxing match
(intr) to engage in boxing
(tr) to hit (a person) with the fist; punch or cuff
box clever to behave in a careful and cunning way

noun

a punch with the fist, esp on the ear

Word Origin for box

C14: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Dutch boken to shunt, push into position

box

3

noun

a dense slow-growing evergreen tree or shrub of the genus Buxus, esp B. sempervirens, which has small shiny leaves and is used for hedges, borders, and garden mazes: family Buxaceae
the wood of this treeSee boxwood (def. 1)
any of several trees the timber or foliage of which resembles this tree, esp various species of Eucalyptus with rough bark

Word Origin for box

Old English, from Latin buxus
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

Word Origin and History for box
n.1.

Old English box "a wooden container," also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood box," from pyxos "box tree," of uncertain origin. See OED entry for discussion. German Büchse also is a Latin loan word.

Meaning "compartment at a theater" is from c.1600. Meaning "pigeon-hole at a post office" is from 1832. Meaning "television" is from 1950. Slang meaning "vulva" is attested 17c., according to "Dictionary of American Slang;" modern use seems to date from c.World War II, perhaps originally Australian, on notion of "box of tricks." Box office is 1786; in the figurative sense of "financial element of a performance" it is first recorded 1904. Box lunch (n.) attested from 1899. The box set, "multiple-album, CD or cassette issue of the work of an artist" is attested by 1955.

n.2.

"a blow," c.1300, of uncertain origin, possibly related to Middle Dutch boke, Middle High German buc, and Danish bask, all meaning "a blow," perhaps imitative.

v.2

"to beat or whip," late 14c., from box (n.2). Meaning "to fight with the fists" is from 1560s. Related: Boxed; boxing.

v.1

"to put into storage, put into a box," mid-15c., from box (n.1). Related: Boxed; boxing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with box

box

In addition to the idioms beginning with box

  • box office
  • box score
  • box the compass

also see:

  • in a bind (box)
  • on one's soapbox
  • pandora's box
  • stuff the ballot box
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.