[ pak-ing ]
/ ˈpæk ɪŋ /
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Origin of packing

1350–1400; Middle English pakking (gerund). See pack1, -ing1


un·der·pack·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is packing?

Packing is the act of grouping items into a container, especially for storing or moving the items.

Packing can also describe the container or wrapping itself used to pack items.

Example: The packing on this Christmas gift is too hard to get off!

Where does packing come from?

The first records of the term packing come from around 1350. It comes from the Middle English pakking. It combines the verb pack, meaning to collect items together into a container, and the suffix ing, which creates nouns out of verbs to express the action of the verb.

Packing is also a synonym for packaging. This can be either the wrapping or boxing around a product or shipment or the protective contents within to protect objects being shipped, such as Bubble Wrap or those messy packing peanuts that get all over the floor.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to packing?

  • underpacking (noun)
  • overpacking (noun)

What are some synonyms for packing?

What are some words that share a root or word element with packing

What are some words that often get used in discussing packing?

How is packing used in real life?

Packing as a noun is commonly used to refer to the action of placing items in compact form to move or store them.



Try using packing!

Is packing used correctly in the following sentence?

Yuck, all of my packages came with packing peanuts to protect the items!

How to use packing in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for packing

/ (ˈpækɪŋ) /

  1. material used to cushion packed goods
  2. (as modifier)a packing needle
the packaging of foodstuffs
  1. the application of a medical pack
  2. gauze or other absorbent material for packing a wound
printing sheets of material, esp paper, used to cover the platen or impression cylinder of a letterpress machine
any substance or material used to make watertight or gastight joints, esp in a stuffing box
engineering pieces of material of various thicknesses used to adjust the position of a component or machine before it is secured in its correct position or alignment
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

Medical definitions for packing

[ păkĭng ]

The insertion of gauze or other material into a body cavity or wound for therapeutic purposes.
The material so used; a pack.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.