contain - definition and synonyms

verb [transitive] 

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present tense
present participlecontaining
past tensecontained
past participlecontained
  1. 1
    a container, envelope, room etc that contains something has something inside it

    There were four or five boxes containing toys and books.

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

      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
    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.