What does contain mean?

Definitions for contain

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word contain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. incorporate, contain, compriseverb

    include or contain; have as a component

    "A totally new idea is comprised in this paper"; "The record contains many old songs from the 1930's"

  2. hold, bear, carry, containverb

    contain or hold; have within

    "The jar carries wine"; "The canteen holds fresh water"; "This can contains water"

  3. control, hold in, hold, contain, check, curb, moderateverb

    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits

    "moderate your alcohol intake"; "hold your tongue"; "hold your temper"; "control your anger"

  4. containverb

    be divisible by

    "24 contains 6"

  5. contain, take, holdverb

    be capable of holding or containing

    "This box won't take all the items"; "The flask holds one gallon"

  6. check, turn back, arrest, stop, contain, hold backverb

    hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of

    "Arrest the downward trend"; "Check the growth of communism in South East Asia"; "Contain the rebel movement"; "Turn back the tide of communism"


  1. containverb

    To hold inside.

  2. containverb

    To include as a part.

  3. containverb

    To limit through restraint.

  4. containverb

    To have as an element.

  5. containverb

    To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.

    But if they can not contain, let them marry. uE00097647uE001 1 Cor. vii. 9.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To CONTAINverb

    Etymology: contineo, Latin.

    There are many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John, xxi. 25.

    Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture. 1 Pet. ii. 6.

    All men should be contained in duty ever after, without the terrour of warlike forces. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    I tell you, sirs,
    If you should smile, he grows impatient. ————
    —— Fear not, my lord, we can contain ourselves. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Containverb

    To live in continence.

    I felt the ardour of my passion increase, ’till I could no longer contain. Scriblerus Club .


  1. Contain

    Containment is a geopolitical strategy to stop the expansion of an enemy.


  1. contain

    To contain generally means to have or hold something within. It could also mean to keep something harmful under control or within limits. Additionally, in mathematics, it refers to the inclusion of an element within a set.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Containverb

    to hold within fixed limits; to comprise; to include; to inclose; to hold

  2. Containverb

    to have capacity for; to be able to hold; to hold; to be equivalent to; as, a bushel contains four pecks

  3. Containverb

    to put constraint upon; to restrain; to confine; to keep within bounds

  4. Containverb

    to restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity

  5. Etymology: [OE. contenen, conteinen, F. contenir, fr. L. continere, -tentum; con- + tenere to hold. See Tenable, and cf. Countenance.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Contain

    kon-tān′, v.t. to comprise, to include: (B.) to restrain, esp. the sexual appetite.—adj. Contain′able, that may be contained.—ns. Contain′ant, Contain′er. [Through Fr. from L. continērecon, together, tenēre, to hold.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2225

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contain' in Verbs Frequency: #129

Anagrams for contain »

  1. actinon

  2. cantion

How to pronounce contain?

How to say contain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of contain in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of contain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of contain in a Sentence

  1. Brendan Saloner:

    The reality of these findings shows that we aren't coming anywhere close to meeting their basic needs. Ultimately, it creates a dangerous situation for the inmates, prison staff, the communities that prisons are located in and in our overall effort to contain the crisis.

  2. Jessica Garay Redmond:

    Things that contain caffeine are definitely going to be less-than-desirable for most people, that's not even just right before bed, but I think depending on a person's caffeine sensitivity, they may need to shut down the caffeine in their day at some point in the afternoon or certainly by dinner time so that they can then have a restful night sleep.

  3. Anthony Burgess:

    Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room. Blockbusting fiction is bought as furniture. Unread, it maintains its value. Read, it looks like money wasted. Cunningly, Americans know that books contain a person, and they want the person, not the book.

  4. Andy Tsang:

    We need this, because we need to act according to the law. And so we would expect the new law to be passed will contain these elements.

  5. Israel Governor Karnit Flug:

    The outline does not achieve the ideal result, but it does contain many advantages for the economy, the Bank of Israel supports the main points of the outline and progress toward its implementation.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for contain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for contain »


Find a translation for the contain definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"contain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/contain>.

Discuss these contain definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for contain? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    restricted to a particular condition of life
    • A. obligate
    • B. accompany
    • C. signify
    • D. fudge

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for contain: