Nearby words

  1. pacify,
  2. pacing catheter,
  3. pacini,
  4. pacinian corpuscle,
  5. pacino,
  6. pack a punch,
  7. pack animal,
  8. pack date,
  9. pack drill,
  10. pack ice


    pack it in,
    1. to give up; abandon one's efforts: In 1972 we packed it in and moved back to Florida.
    2. to cease being a nuisance.

Origin of pack

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English pak, packe < Middle Dutch pac or perhaps Middle Low German pak; (v.) Middle English pakken < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German

1. See package. 4. band, company, crew. 5. See flock1



verb (used with object)

to choose, collect, arrange, or manipulate (cards, persons, facts, etc.) so as to serve one's own purposes: to pack the deck; to pack a jury.

Origin of pack

First recorded in 1520–30; perhaps variant of pact




Scot. very friendly or intimate.

Origin of pack

First recorded in 1780–90; perhaps special use of pack1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pack

British Dictionary definitions for pack




  1. a bundle or load, esp one carried on the back
  2. (as modifier)a pack animal
a collected amount of anything
a complete set of similar things, esp a set of 52 playing cards
a group of animals of the same kind, esp hunting animalsa pack of hounds
any group or band that associates together, esp for criminal purposes
rugby the forwards of a team or both teams collectively, as in a scrum or in rucking
the basic organizational unit of Cub Scouts and Brownie Guides
  1. a small package, carton, or container, used to retail commodities, esp foodstuffs, cigarettes, etc
  2. (in combination)pack-sealed
US and Canadian a small or medium-sized container of cardboard, paper, etc, often together with its contentsAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): packet
short for pack ice
the quantity of something, such as food, packaged for preservation
  1. a sheet or blanket, either damp or dry, for wrapping about the body, esp for its soothing effect
  2. a material such as cotton or gauze for temporarily filling a bodily cavity, esp to control bleeding
short for backpack, rucksack
mining a roof support, esp one made of rubble
short for face pack
a parachute folded and ready for use
computing another name for deck (def. 5)
go to the pack Australian and NZ informal to fall into a lower state or condition


to place or arrange (articles) in (a container), such as clothes in a suitcase
(tr) to roll up into a bundle
(when passive, often foll by out) to press tightly together; cramthe audience packed into the foyer; the hall was packed out
(tr; foll by in or into) to fit (many things, experiences, etc) into a limited space or timeshe packed a lot of theatre visits into her holiday
to form (snow, ice, etc) into a hard compact mass or (of snow, ice, etc) to become compacted
(tr) to press in or cover tightlyto pack a hole with cement
(tr) to load (a horse, donkey, etc) with a burden
(often foll by off or away) to send away or go away, esp hastily
(tr) to seal (a joint) by inserting a layer of compressible material between the faces
(tr) to fill (a bearing or gland) with grease to lubricate it
(tr) to separate (two adjoining components) so that they have a predetermined gap between them, by introducing shims, washers, plates, etc
(tr) med to treat with a pack
(tr) slang to be capable of inflicting (a blow)he packs a mean punch
(tr) US informal to carry or wear habituallyhe packs a gun
(intr often foll by down) rugby to form a scrum
(tr; often foll by into, to, etc) US, Canadian and NZ to carry (goods), esp on the backwill you pack your camping equipment into the mountains?
pack one's bags informal to get ready to leave
send packing informal to dismiss peremptorily
See also pack in, pack up

Derived Formspackable, adjective

Word Origin for pack

C13: related to Middle Low German pak, of obscure origin


(tr) to fill (a legislative body, committee, etc) with one's own supportersto pack a jury

Word Origin for pack

C16: perhaps changed from pact

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 pack
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pack




To fill, stuff, plug, or tampon.
To enwrap or envelop the body in a sheet, blanket, or other covering.
To apply a dressing or covering to a surgical site.


The swathing of a patient or body part in hot, cold, wet, or dry materials, such as cloth towels, sheets, or blankets.
The materials so used.
An ice pack; an ice bag.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with pack


In addition to the idioms beginning with pack

  • pack a punch
  • packed in like sardines
  • pack it in
  • pack off
  • pack them in

also see:

  • Joe six-pack
  • send someone about his or her business (packing)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.