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verb [transitive] contain pronunciation in British English /kənˈteɪn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecontaining
past tensecontained
past participlecontained
  1. 1
    a container, envelope, room etc that contains something has something inside it

    The envelope contained a few dried rose petals.

    There were four or five boxes containing toys and books.

    1. a.
      if an area contains something, you will find that thing there

      The area contains some of the richest geological deposits in the country.

      Pretty much everything a tourist would want to see is contained within the walls of the old town.

  2. 2
    if a substance contains something, that thing is a part of it

    Brown rice contains a lot of vitamins and minerals.

    1. a.
      to include something, or to have it as a part

      The information you need is contained in this report.

  3. 3
    to control or hide an emotion

    I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer.

    barely/hardly contain something:

    Laura barely contained her fury.

  4. 4
    to prevent something harmful from spreading to other people or places

    Firefighters are still battling to contain the blaze.

    Strong measures are urgently needed to contain the epidemic.

    1. a.
      to keep something within limits

      Our main task is to contain expenditure within a budget.



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Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

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