There are 2 main definitions of pack in English:

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pack 1

Syllabification: pack


1A small cardboard or paper container and the items contained within it: a pack of cigarettes
More example sentences
  • Julie handed me a large piece of paper divided into four parts and a pack of pencil crayons.
  • I picked up a battery charger and a pack of rechargeable AAA batteries.
  • And guess how much a pack of 10 chicken wings costs in here?
1.1A set of playing cards.
Example sentences
  • In some packs, the king of hearts is shown with a beard.
  • The dealer shuffles and offers the pack to his right hand neighbour to cut.
  • There are a few examples where a tarot pack is used to play a game which is not really of the tarot family.
1.2A knapsack or backpack.
Example sentences
  • And now that you're carrying half the weight, why use a seven-pound backpack when a three-pound pack is fine?
  • When a person carries a loaded backpack, the pack too moves up and down the same distance at the same time.
  • While the knife is designed for tactical backup, there's nothing that says you can't stick it in a backpack or hunting pack.
backpack, knapsack, rucksack, day pack, kit bag, bag
1.3A collection of related documents, especially one kept in a folder: an information pack
More example sentences
  • When your entry fee is received you will be sent an information pack confirming your venue for the first round and giving you lots of details about Westport and this great event.
  • For classes, some books go on reserve, some materials go into course packs, and some copied excerpts are handed out in class.
  • These are now planning public meetings, mass leafleting, education packs and street stalls to let as many people as possible know about the upcoming protests and events.
1.4 (often the pack) A quantity of fish, fruit, or other foods packed or canned in a particular season or year.
Example sentences
  • Because of extremely low production in several of the major fisheries, the pack of canned fish in the United States and Alaska during the first nine months of 1946 was eight precent below last year, Milton C, James, Assistant Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, announced today.
  • First season's pack was 350 cases of fruit and tomatoes.
2A group of wild animals, especially wolves, living and hunting together.
Example sentences
  • Remember wolves hunt in packs but the wolf will take care of the sick, feed the old first, they do all of that.
  • Sharks of up to 4m could be picked out among the pack.
  • He said it was unusual for cheetahs to get together in packs of four.
crowd, mob, group, band, troupe, troop, party, set, clique, gang, rabble, horde, herd, throng, huddle, mass, assembly, gathering, host
informal crew, bunch
2.1A group of hounds kept and used for hunting, especially fox hunting.
Example sentences
  • Fox hunting is a country sport and packs of hounds are kept especially for hunting.
  • The idea of grown men and women on horseback with packs of hounds, charging after one tiny animal is completely unacceptable.
  • In November 2004 there were 318 registered hound packs in England and Wales.
2.2An organized group of Cub Scouts.
Example sentences
  • At the beginning there were just two Brownie Packs and two Girl Guide companies with two leaders for each group.
  • Troops and packs taking part must be registered by their leader by February 10.
  • Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys.
2.3 (the pack) The main body of competitors following the leader or leaders in a race or competition: figurative the company was demonstrating the kind of innovations needed to keep it ahead of the pack
More example sentences
  • Rudi's Pet pulled out of the pack with two furlongs to go for a two-length victory.
  • Bell, which makes savoury pies, pastries and cakes at bakeries in Shotts and Livingston, leads the pack of interested parties.
  • On a short track the objective is to clear traffic as quickly as possible, so much so that the leaders often will take an outside line to get into the corner ahead of the pack.
2.4chiefly derogatory A group or set of similar things or people: the reports were a pack of lies
More example sentences
  • Eriksson might have been wise during that press conference to have reminded the assembled pack of an old saying: those who shout loudest often have the least to say.
  • Suddenly there is a commotion - a pack of motorcycles.
  • Padlin stumbled into the pack of bettors clustered at the waist-high fence.
2.5 short for pack ice.
Example sentences
  • It is also unlikely that he could have gotten the idea by encountering an ice island on the polar pack, even if he had actually travelled a long distance on it.
  • Hydrogen, the most potent fuel going, packs nearly three times the energy of gasoline.
  • More than a century of conventional wisdom says that winter, when the ice is both hard and plentiful, is the best time to travel the polar pack.
2.6 Rugby A team’s forwards considered as a group.
Example sentences
  • The forward packs from both teams appear to be where the strength lies.
  • A forward from the pack should lead the team and spur them on.
  • It's easy to make parallels between the back rows but really a back row is only as good as the forward pack in front of it.
3A hot or cold pad of absorbent material, especially as used for treating an injury.
Example sentences
  • Frostbite is a recognized danger of the use of cold packs of ice therapy for sports injuries and soft tissue trauma.
  • They are often painful, and you may wish to apply a cold pack straight after the injury.
  • Benign interventions include hot and cold packs, bandages, canes, lotions, vitamins and nutritional supplements.
3.1A cosmetic mask.
Example sentences
  • Instead, when warranted, use a light protein pack or hair mask followed by a clarifying shampoo.
  • So it should come as no surprise that it leads the cosmetic pack again with its new range The Makeup.
  • Finally, she put on the contents of the hygiene pack: first the hair net, then the mask, then the safety goggles, then the gloves.


[with object] Back to top  
1Fill (a suitcase or bag), especially with clothes and other items needed when away from home: I packed a bag with a few of my favorite clothes [no object]: she had packed and checked out of the hotel
More example sentences
  • Katelyn walked into her room, sitting down on her bed and watching Mary pack her small pink backpack with clothes to wear while over at the Hayes.
  • Should we be stocking up on water and packing an evacuation bag?
  • Maybe I should pack my bag and grab the next flight north.
fill (up), put things in, load
1.1Place (something) in a container, especially for transportation or storage: I packed up my stuff and drove to Detroit
More example sentences
  • Sharon and Jane say they would normally suggest putting items into storage or packing them away in readiness for moving house.
  • Dry them before you pack them into their containers or plastic bag and then put them in your luggage.
  • His daily tasks include sorting out orders, packing the goods and transporting them to customers.
stow, put away, store, box up
1.2 [no object] Be capable of being folded up for transportation or storage: these silver foil blankets pack into a small area
More example sentences
  • Be aware that trolley-bags usually have a chassis, so they do not fold up and pack away so easily.
1.3 (pack something in) Store something perishable in (a specified substance) in order to preserve it: the organs were packed in ice
More example sentences
  • The vital marrow was packed in ice for the flight from the USA and given to Mr Worral to help him fight the myeloid leukaemia he was diagnosed with in September.
  • For the most part it was meat packed in ice, thawed and heated in the evenings.
  • Fruits that are to be eaten raw, and so cannot be blanched, are often packed in sugar or dipped in syrup before freezing, to exclude air and thus inhibit enzyme action.
1.4 informal Carry (a gun): a sixteen-year-old can make a fortune selling drugs and pack a gun in the process
More example sentences
  • Besides the well worn dusty cowboy boots he was also packing a gun under his green T-shirt.
  • Most of the CCW pistol packers I know, who pack daily, are the ones who need something stiff in their pocket to remind them of days gone by while they lust for the chance to save the day.
1.5Cram a large number of things into (a container or space): it was a large room, packed with beds jammed side by side
More example sentences
  • The final line-up for this year's Grassington Festival has been completed and is jammed packed with great entertainment for all.
  • The next few weeks in Kilcoo will be jammed packed with activities and events to suit all tastes.
  • For me though, this weekend was more notable for being packed with stuff that I didn't go to, and didn't miss.
1.6 (often as adjective packed) (Of a large number of people) crowd into and fill (a room, building, or place): the waiting room was packed
More example sentences
  • A large proportion of the crowd took shelter in the few tents provided on site, which then became impossible to use for their intended purpose due to the huge numbers packed inside.
  • The Kohl Center was filled to capacity as 19,790 fans packed the stands to see the game.
  • Drawn in part by the buzz surrounding the film, people packed the theaters and formed long lines for tickets.
crowded, full, filled (to capacity), well attended, crammed, jammed, solid, overcrowded, overfull, teeming, seething, swarming
informal jam-packed, chock-full, standing room only, chockablock, full to the gunwales, bursting/bulging at the seams
1.7Cover, surround, or fill (something): he packed the wounds with healing malaguetta
More example sentences
  • Numerous small vacuoles pack the bundle sheath cell and the walls of these cells are not folded.
  • I cut my palms when I was nine, again on the bars, and one of my coaches packed the blisters with chalk and covered them with surgical tape before lifting me back up to the bar.
  • When the ‘toddlers' truce’ was lifted the search was on for programmes to pack the vacant hour; Twizzle helped fill the vacuum.
wrap (up), package, parcel, swathe, swaddle, encase, enfold, envelop, bundle
throng, crowd (into), fill (to overflowing), cram, jam, squash into, squeeze into
1.8 [no object] Rugby (Of players) form or take their places in a scrum: we often packed down with only seven men
More example sentences
  • If league want to continue with the scrums let them watch Union scrums or speak to the players of the 50s or 60s how to pack and play a scrum.
  • Brumbies coach David Nucifora was pleased with the performance of his team, especially the forwards, who where able to get on top of the heavier Bulls pack in scrums.
  • Andy Nicol found time and space with both sets of forwards packed down; so did Bryan Redpath in the second half.


Middle English: from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German pak (noun), pakken (verb). The verb appears early in Anglo-Latin and Anglo-Norman French in connection with the wool trade; trade in English wool was chiefly with the Low Countries.

  • The word pack for a container or group as in a pack of wolves is from noun pak found in both Middle Dutch and Middle Low German. Where they got the word from is not known. The related words packet (originally a little pack), and package developed in the 16th century. The phrase package holiday dates from the 1960s.


pack heat

North American informal Carry a gun.
Example sentences
  • What the thief didn't realize was the 80-year-old was packing heat.
  • Like I said, this weather better change soon before I start packing heat and I suddenly go crazy and climb a bell tower and try to shoot up the clouds.
  • But I'll bet half of those delegates, especially the rich ones, are packing heat at home to protect themselves.

pack it in

informal Stop what one is doing.
Example sentences
  • In reality, it's past Time for some candidates to pack it in, but this is as good an occasion to point it out again as any.
  • Finally I decided that maybe I had been fooling myself all along, and maybe it was time to pack it in and get a "real" job "down at the "ol' sawmill."

pack a punch

Be capable of hitting with skill or force: Rosie could pack a hefty punch
More example sentences
  • The nickname is because he can pack a punch.
  • He stands well under 1.80 metres but certainly packs a punch.
  • He packs a punch for a small guy.
3.1Have a powerful effect: the Spanish wine packed quite a punch
More example sentences
  • The underdog Kings are also a hefty 37 - 6 at home in Arco Arena, packing a punch with a lineup that includes All-Stars Webber and fellow pistolero Peja Stojakovic.
  • And yet, de Montalk's tense, restrained minimalism is capable of packing a punch.
  • The show itself also packs a punch, complete with a seven-piece band, special guest guitarist David Lee Murphy, a nine-metre high video screen and state-of-the-art lighting and sound.

packed out

Pronunciation: /ˌpakt ˈout/
British informal (Of a place) very crowded.
Example sentences
  • About 200 people packed out a meeting staged by the North East Essex Community Health Council at Holland public hall to discuss the proposals.
  • Two last quick observations: absolutely every meeting is completely packed out, rammed to the rafters, with usually dozens of young people crowded round the entrances to try to catch what is being said.
  • Elsewhere in the city, the Christmas weekend began with the Marks & Spencer food hall packed out as customers stocked up on Christmas goodies such as brandy sauce, mince pies and port.

send someone packing

informal Make someone leave in an abrupt or peremptory way.
Example sentences
  • His side's attitude must be right or they will be sent packing.
  • Club chiefs denied that Jeffs had been sent packing for disciplinary reasons - though they did admit his behaviour had not been perfect.
  • When we were bored, I would take my gang along to dad's shop, play with his vast selection of nails and knives and generally bother him until he sent us packing.

Phrasal verbs

pack something in

informal Give up an activity or job.
Example sentences
  • I’ve half a mind to pack the whole thing in.
  • I think I'll pack the diet in for a while and just concentrate on the fitness side.
  • He's packing the job in next month.

pack someone off

informal Send someone somewhere without much warning or notice: they packed me off to the academy in Baltimore
More example sentences
  • He discovered a hitherto undetected fracture and packed me off to North Shore Hospital.
  • However, the war effort said they could use him as an Air Force policeman, so he was packed off to Police College and then sent to Malta, where he was stationed for the next four years.
  • When my children were younger, I was never too keen on the idea of packing them off for long durations of summer camp.
send off, dispatch, bundle off

pack something out

North American Carry something away rather than leaving it behind (used especially with respect to refuse at remote campsites): pack out any garbage you have left
More example sentences
  • Littering is littering no matter how grand the adventure, and the code holds true for everyone: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Family rafting adventures include a stop for a hot lunch on a pristine beach, where the ‘pack it in, pack it out’ philosophy is strictly enforced.
  • There is an old saying in camping: if you pack it in, pack it out.



Example sentences
  • Ubiquitous for good reason, collapsible doggie bowls are virtually spill-free in the car, totally leakproof, and packable.
  • For the Baffin trip, McLean sewed three sizes of packable kites rigged with reins and steering bars and borrowed Inuit designs to fashion flexible-wood gear sledges.
  • Then there's the part where they charged us an extra $700 for packing supplies, after we'd packed up everything that we thought was packable.

Words that rhyme with pack

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack

Definition of pack in:

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There are 2 main definitions of pack in English:

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pack 2 Syllabification: pack


[with object]
Fill (a jury, committee, etc.) with people likely to support a particular verdict or decision: his efforts to pack the Supreme Court with men who shared his ideology
More example sentences
  • Franklin Roosevelt wanted to pack the Court with New Dealers who would uphold his legislative program.
  • We would have worked to secure the positions of chair and secretary and tried to pack the committee with political supporters - that is, if we had any.
  • There are bound to be mixed feelings about the change from an independent CHC to a local-authority committee which is packed with politicians.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'enter into a private agreement'): probably from the obsolete verb pact 'enter into an agreement with', the final -t being interpreted as an inflection of the past tense.

  • The word pack for a container or group as in a pack of wolves is from noun pak found in both Middle Dutch and Middle Low German. Where they got the word from is not known. The related words packet (originally a little pack), and package developed in the 16th century. The phrase package holiday dates from the 1960s.



Example sentences
  • After leaving the witness box of the packed courtroom, he again removed his glasses and was seen to wipe away tears.
  • Everyone has seen on television a packed football ground with 50,000 spectators crammed together.
  • They had another packed schedule planned for Tuesday.

Definition of pack in:

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