verb Etymology: Middle English conteinen, from Anglo-French cunteign-, cuntyen-, stem of cuntenir, from Latin continēre to hold together, hold in, contain, from com- + tenēre to hold — more at thin Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to keep within limits: as a. restrain, control <
could hardly contain her enthusiasm
b. check, halt <
contain the spread of a deadly disease
c. to follow successfully a policy of containment toward <
efforts to contain Communism
d. to prevent (as an enemy or opponent) from advancing or from making a successful attack 2. a. to have within ; hold b. comprise, include <
the bill contains several new clauses
3. a. to be divisible by usually without a remainder b. enclose, bound intransitive verb to restrain oneselfcontainable adjective Synonyms: contain, hold, accommodate mean to have or be capable of having within. contain implies the actual presence of a specified substance or quantity within something <
the can contains a quart of oil
. hold implies the capacity of containing or the usual or permanent function of containing or keeping <
the bookcase will hold all my textbooks
. accommodate stresses holding without crowding or inconvenience <
the hall can accommodate 500 people

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • contain — contain, hold, accommodate denote to have or be capable of having within. To contain is to have within or to have as an element, fraction, or part; to hold is to have the capacity to contain or to retain; thus, a bookcase that holds (is capable… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Contain — Con*tain , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Contained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Containing}.] [OE. contenen, conteinen, F. contenir, fr. L. continere, tentum; con + tenere to hold. See {Tenable}, and cf. {Countenance}.] 1. To hold within fixed limits; to comprise;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Contain — may refer to: Container (disambiguation) Containment (disambiguation) See also All pages beginning with Contain All pages with titles containing contain* Content (disambiguation) Include (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Contain — Con*tain , v. i. To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity. [1913 Webster] But if they can not contain, let them marry. 1 Cor. vii. 9. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contain — [v1] include, hold accommodate, be composed of, comprehend, comprise, consist of, embody, embrace, enclose, encompass, have, have capacity for, hold, incorporate, involve, seat, subsume, take in; concepts 112,736,742 Ant. exclude contain [v2]… …   New thesaurus

  • contain — [kən tān′] vt. [ME conteinen < OFr contenir < L continere, to hold < com , together + tenere, to hold: see THIN] 1. to have in it; hold, enclose, or include [the can contains tea, the list contains 50 items] 2. to have the capacity for… …   English World dictionary

  • contain — I (comprise) verb be composed of, be compounded of, be constituted of, be formed of, capere, comprehendere, consist of, embody, embrace, enfold, envelop, hold, include, incorporate, number, reckon among, subsist of associated concepts: containing …   Law dictionary

  • contain — late 13c., from O.Fr. contein , stem of contenir, from L. continere (transitive) to hold together, enclose, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + tenere to hold (see TENET (Cf. tenet)). Related: Containable …   Etymology dictionary

  • contain — ► VERB 1) have or hold within. 2) control or restrain. 3) prevent (a problem) from becoming worse. DERIVATIVES containable adjective. ORIGIN Latin continere, from tenere to hold …   English terms dictionary

  • contain — containable, adj. /keuhn tayn /, v.t. 1. to hold or include within its volume or area: This glass contains water. This paddock contains our best horses. 2. to be capable of holding; have capacity for: The room will contain 75 persons safely. 3.… …   Universalium

  • contain — [[t]kənte͟ɪn[/t]] ♦♦ contains, containing, contained 1) VERB: no cont If something such as a box, bag, room, or place contains things, those things are inside it. [V n] The bag contained a Christmas card... [V n] Factory shops contain a wide… …   English dictionary

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