Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

contain - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb [transitive] contain pronunciation in British English /kənˈteɪn/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theycontain
he/she/itcontains
present participlecontaining
past tensecontained
past participlecontained

Related words

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  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.

conlang

… a language for human communication which has been invented and has not developed naturally

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

spogs

spectacles; boiled sweets, candy; soft aniseed-flavoured jelly sweets coated with blue and pink sugar sprinkles

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog