- a wrapping of the body in wet or dry clothes for therapeutic purposes.
- the cloths so used.
- Obsolete. the state of being so wrapped.
- Also called pack wall. a rubble wall for supporting a roof.
- any of various other roof supports of timber, timber and rubble, or rubble and wire mesh.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to dispatch: We packed the kids off to camp for the summer.
- to leave hastily.
- pacing catheter,
- pacinian corpuscle,
- pack a punch,
- pack animal,
- pack date,
- pack drill,
- pack ice
- to give up; abandon one's efforts: In 1972 we packed it in and moved back to Florida.
- to cease being a nuisance.
Origin of pack1
- a bundle or load, esp one carried on the back
- (as modifier)a pack animal
- a small package, carton, or container, used to retail commodities, esp foodstuffs, cigarettes, etc
- (in combination)pack-sealed
- a sheet or blanket, either damp or dry, for wrapping about the body, esp for its soothing effect
- a material such as cotton or gauze for temporarily filling a bodily cavity, esp to control bleeding
Word Origin for pack
Word Origin for pack
"bundle," early 13c., probably from a Low German word (cf. Middle Dutch pac, pack "bundle," Middle Low German pak, Middle Flemish pac, attested from late 12c.), originally a term of wool traders in Flanders; or possibly from Old Norse pakki. All are of unknown origin.
Italian pacco is a Dutch loan word; French pacque probably is from Flemish. Meaning "set of persons" (usually of a low character) is c.1300, older than sense of "group of hunting animals" (early 15c.). Extended to collective sets of playing cards (1590s), floating ice (1791), cigarettes (1924), and submarines (1943). Meaning "knapsack on a frame" is attested from 1916. Pack of lies first attested 1763.
c.1300, "to put together in a pack," from pack (n.), possibly influenced by Anglo-French empaker (late 13c.) and Medieval Latin paccare "pack."
Some senses suggesting "make secret arrangement" are from an Elizabethan mispronunciation of pact. Sense of "to carry or convey in a pack" (1805) led to general sense of "to carry in any manner;" hence to pack heat "carry a gun," underworld slang from 1940s; "to be capable of delivering" (a punch, etc.), from 1921. Related: Packed; packing.
pack it in
Stop working or abandon an activity, as in Let's pack it in for the day. This usage alludes to packing one's things before departing, and during World War I became military slang for being killed. It also is used as an imperative ordering someone to stop, as in Pack it in! I've heard enough out of you. In Britain it is also put as pack it up. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with pack
- pack a punch
- packed in like sardines
- pack it in
- pack off
- pack them in
- Joe six-pack
- send someone about his or her business (packing)