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packet

[pak-it]
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noun
  1. a small group or package of anything: a packet of letters.
  2. Also called packet boat, packet ship. a small vessel that carries mail, passengers, and goods regularly on a fixed route, especially on rivers or along coasts.
  3. Cards. a part of a pack of cards after being cut.
  4. Informal. a large amount of money.
  5. Digital Technology. a relatively small unit of data sent over a network:Every email you send and web page you browse is transferred to and from your device in a series of packets.
  6. British Slang.
    1. a painful blow or beating.
    2. misfortune or failure.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bind up in a package or parcel.
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Origin of packet

1520–30; < Middle French pacquet, equivalent to pacqu(er) to pack1 + -et -et

Synonyms

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1. See package.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for packet

packet

noun
  1. a small or medium-sized container of cardboard, paper, etc, often together with its contentsa packet of biscuits Usual US and Canadian word: package, pack
  2. a small package; parcel
  3. Also called: packet boat a boat that transports mail, passengers, goods, etc, on a fixed short route
  4. slang a large sum of moneyto cost a packet
  5. computing a unit into which a larger piece of data is broken down for more efficient transmissionSee also packet switching
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verb
  1. (tr) to wrap up in a packet or as a packet
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Word Origin

C16: from Old French pacquet, from pacquer to pack, from Old Dutch pak a pack
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 packet

n.

mid-15c., from Middle English pak "bundle" (see pack (n.)) + diminutive suffix -et; perhaps modeled on Anglo-French pacquet (Middle French pacquet), which ultimately is a diminutive of Middle Dutch pak. A packet boat (1640s) originally was one that carried mails. Packet-switching attested from 1971.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper