[ kon-tent ]
See synonyms for: contentcontentedcontents on

  1. Usually contents.

    • something that is contained: the contents of a box.

    • the subjects or topics covered in a book or document.

    • the chapters or other formal divisions of a book or document: a table of contents.

  2. something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts: a poetic form adequate to a poetic content.

  1. significance or profundity; meaning: a clever play that lacks content.

  2. substantive information or creative material viewed in contrast to its actual or potential manner of presentation: publishers, record companies, and other content providers; a flashy website, but without much content.

  3. that which may be perceived in something: the latent versus the manifest content of a dream.

  4. Philosophy, Logic. the sum of the attributes or notions comprised in a given conception; the substance or matter of cognition.

  5. power of containing; holding capacity: The bowl's content is three quarts.

  6. volume, area, or extent; size.

  7. the amount contained.

  8. Linguistics. the system of meanings or semantic values specific to a language (opposed to expression).

    • Mathematics. the greatest common divisor of all the coefficients of a given polynomial.: Compare primitive polynomial.

    • any abstraction of the concept of length, area, or volume.

Origin of content

First recorded in1400–50; late Middle English (from Anglo-French ), from Medieval Latin contentum, noun use of neuter of Latin contentus (past participle of continēre “to contain”), equivalent to con- “with, together” + ten- “hold” + -tus past participle suffix; see con-

Other definitions for content (2 of 2)

[ kuhn-tent ]

  1. satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.

  2. British. agreeing; assenting.

  1. Archaic. willing.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make content: These things content me.

  1. the state or feeling of being contented; satisfaction; contentment: His content was threatened.

  2. (in the British House of Lords) an affirmative vote or voter.

Origin of content

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin contentus “satisfied,” special use of past participle of continēre; see content1

synonym study For content

4. See satisfy.

Other words for content

Opposites for content

Other words from content

  • con·tent·a·ble, adjective
  • con·tent·ly, adverb
  • con·tent·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use content in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for content (1 of 2)


/ (ˈkɒntɛnt) /

  1. (often plural) everything that is inside a container: the contents of a box

  2. (usually plural)

    • the chapters or divisions of a book

    • a list, printed at the front of a book, of chapters or divisions together with the number of the first page of each

  1. the meaning or significance of a poem, painting, or other work of art, as distinguished from its style or form

  2. all that is contained or dealt with in a discussion, piece of writing, etc; substance

  3. the capacity or size of a thing

  4. the proportion of a substance contained in an alloy, mixture, etc: the lead content of petrol

Origin of content

C15: from Latin contentus contained, from continēre to contain

British Dictionary definitions for content (2 of 2)


/ (kənˈtɛnt) /

  1. mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are

  2. assenting to or willing to accept circumstances, a proposed course of action, etc

  1. (tr) to make (oneself or another person) content or satisfied: to content oneself with property

  1. peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction

  1. British (in the House of Lords) a formal expression of assent, as opposed to the expression not content

Origin of content

C14: from Old French, from Latin contentus contented, that is, having restrained desires, from continēre to restrain

Derived forms of content

  • contently, adverb
  • contentment, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with content


see to one's heart's content.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.