[ kuh n-tey-ner ]
/ kənˈteɪ nər /


anything that contains or can contain something, as a carton, box, crate, or can.
a large, vanlike, reuseable box for consolidating smaller crates or cartons into a single shipment, designed for easy and fast loading and unloading of freight.

Nearby words

  1. contagious stomatitis,
  2. contagiously,
  3. contagium,
  4. contain,
  5. contained,
  6. container car,
  7. container garden,
  8. container ship,
  9. containerboard,
  10. containerization

Origin of container

1400–50 for an earlier sense; 1495–1505 for def 1; late Middle English conteiner; see contain, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for container

British Dictionary definitions for container


/ (kənˈteɪnə) /


an object used for or capable of holding, esp for transport or storage, such as a carton, box, etc
  1. a large cargo-carrying standard-sized container that can be loaded from one mode of transport to another
  2. (as modifier)a container port; a container ship
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 container



mid-15c., agent noun from contain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper