Definition of unpack in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌənˈpak/


[with object]
1Open and remove the contents of (a suitcase, bag, or package): she unpacked her suitcase [no object]: he unpacked and put everything away
More example sentences
  • I managed to get rid of the parents, & high spiritedly returned to my room to unpack everything save the suitcase; I even stuck some posters on the wall.
  • I started to unpack my bags and place the contents into the dresser drawers.
  • Having just unpacked her bags Liddell has not yet focused on departure.
1.1Remove (something) from a suitcase, bag, or package: we unpacked the sandwiches
More example sentences
  • I unzipped one suitcase and began unpacking jeans, t-shirts, and skirts and placing them in the four-drawer dresser.
  • Assuming that nothing in the package description, unpacking instructions and so forth, needs to be updated, that's all you have to do.
  • Complete package: unpack it, plug it in and let it burn.
1.2Analyze (something) into its component elements: let us unpack this question
More example sentences
  • Brackett unpacks the idea of a stable racial essence by analysing Brown's music in terms of a black discursive world set in a particular historical context.
  • If we unpack this comic moment we find the elements of Eliot's The Waste Land used to different purpose.
  • Thus, the first thing we need to do here is unpack Lloyd's argument by supplying this missing analysis.
1.3 Computing Convert (data) from a compressed form to a usable form.
Example sentences
  • I downloaded and unpacked the Enhydra tar file, which created a large number of files and directories under the enhydra4.0 directory.
  • This prime number can be unpacked into the original source code for DeCSS, the software that decodes the DVD encryption scheme.
  • To install, first unpack the Logwatch source files and cd into the resulting directory.



Example sentences
  • And ‘critics’ in this sense does not necessarily mean ‘complainers’ it can mean, ‘reading with a critical eye, being careful unpackers of assumptions.’
  • Customs spokesperson Matt Wardell says because of the x-ray, unpackers could go straight to the trouble spot rather than pick through the whole container.
  • His task is to deliver a just-in-time store, steering a crew of about 20 unpackers, stockers, sweepers and fix-it people.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: un·pack

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.