definition of pack by The Free Dictionary

pack 1




a. A collection of items tied up or wrapped; a bundle.

b. A container made to be carried on the body of a person or animal.

2. The amount, as of food, that is processed and packaged at one time or in one season.

3. A small package containing a standard number of identical or similar items: a pack of matches.


a. A complete set of related items: a pack of cards.

b. Informal A large amount; a heap: earned a pack of money.


a. A group of animals, such as dogs or wolves, that run and hunt together.

b. A gang of people: a pack of hoodlums.

c. An organized troop having common interests: a Cub Scout pack.

6. A mass of large pieces of floating ice driven together.

7. Medicine

a. Material, such as towels, sheets, or blankets that are used to swathe a patient or body part.

b. A material, such as gauze, that is therapeutically inserted into a body cavity or wound.


a. An ice pack used to reduce pain and inflammation.

b. A cold pack.

c. A hot pack.

9. A cosmetic paste that is applied to the skin, allowed to dry, and then rinsed off.

v. packed, pack·ing, packs

1. To fold, roll, or combine into a bundle; wrap up.


a. To put into a receptacle for transporting or storing: pack one’s belongings.

b. To fill up with items: pack one’s trunk.

3. To process and put into containers in order to preserve, transport, or sell: packed the fruit in jars.


a. To bring together (persons or things) closely; crowd together: managed to pack 300 students into the lecture hall.

b. To fill up tight; cram.

5. Medicine

a. To wrap (a patient) in a pack.

b. To insert a pack into (a body cavity or wound).

6. To wrap tightly for protection or to prevent leakage: pack a valve stem.

7. To press together; compact firmly: packed the clay and straw into bricks.

8. Informal To carry, deliver, or have available for action: a thug who packed a pistol; a fighter who packs a hard punch.

9. To send unceremoniously: The parents packed both children off to bed.

10. To constitute (a voting panel) by appointment, selection, or arrangement in such a way that it is favorable to one’s purposes or point of view; rig: “In 1937 Roosevelt threatened to pack the court” (New Republic).


1. To place one’s belongings in boxes or luggage for transporting or storing.

2. To be susceptible of compact storage: Dishes pack more easily than glasses.

3. To form lumps or masses; become compacted.

Phrasal Verb:

pack on

To gain (excess weight): has been packing on the pounds lately.


pack it in Informal

To cease work or activity: Let’s pack it in for the day.

[Middle English pak, possibly of Low German origin.]

pack′a·bil′i·ty n.

pack′a·ble adj.

pack 2


American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.





a. a bundle or load, esp one carried on the back

b. (as modifier): a pack animal.

2. a collected amount of anything

3. (Card Games) a complete set of similar things, esp a set of 52 playing cards

4. (Zoology) a group of animals of the same kind, esp hunting animals: a pack of hounds.

5. any group or band that associates together, esp for criminal purposes

6. (Rugby) rugby the forwards of a team or both teams collectively, as in a scrum or in rucking

7. the basic organizational unit of Cub Scouts and Brownie Guides

8. (Commerce)

a. a small package, carton, or container, used to retail commodities, esp foodstuffs, cigarettes, etc

b. (in combination): pack-sealed.

9. US and Canadian a small or medium-sized container of cardboard, paper, etc, often together with its contents. Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): packet

10. (Physical Geography) short for pack ice

11. the quantity of something, such as food, packaged for preservation

12. (Medicine) med

a. a sheet or blanket, either damp or dry, for wrapping about the body, esp for its soothing effect

b. a material such as cotton or gauze for temporarily filling a bodily cavity, esp to control bleeding

14. (Mining & Quarrying) mining a roof support, esp one made of rubble

15. (Hairdressing & Grooming) short for face pack

16. (Aeronautics) a parachute folded and ready for use

17. (Computer Science) computing another name for deck5

18. go to the pack informal Austral and NZ to fall into a lower state or condition


19. to place or arrange (articles) in (a container), such as clothes in a suitcase

20. (tr) to roll up into a bundle

21. (when: passive, often foll by out) to press tightly together; cram: the audience packed into the foyer; the hall was packed out.

22. (tr; foll by in or into) to fit (many things, experiences, etc) into a limited space or time: she packed a lot of theatre visits into her holiday.

23. (Physical Geography) to form (snow, ice, etc) into a hard compact mass or (of snow, ice, etc) to become compacted

24. (tr) to press in or cover tightly: to pack a hole with cement.

25. (tr) to load (a horse, donkey, etc) with a burden

26. (often foll by: off or away) to send away or go away, esp hastily

27. (Mechanical Engineering) (tr) to seal (a joint) by inserting a layer of compressible material between the faces

28. (Mechanical Engineering) (tr) to fill (a bearing or gland) with grease to lubricate it

29. (Mechanical Engineering) (tr) to separate (two adjoining components) so that they have a predetermined gap between them, by introducing shims, washers, plates, etc

30. (Medicine) (tr) med to treat with a pack

31. (tr) slang to be capable of inflicting (a blow): he packs a mean punch.

32. (tr) informal US to carry or wear habitually: he packs a gun.

33. (Rugby) rugby (often foll by: down) to form a scrum

34. (tr; often foll by into, to, etc) US and Canadian and NZ to carry (goods), esp on the back: will you pack your camping equipment into the mountains?.

35. pack one’s bags informal to get ready to leave

36. send packing informal to dismiss peremptorily

[C13: related to Middle Low German pak, of obscure origin]

ˈpackable adj




(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (tr) to fill (a legislative body, committee, etc) with one’s own supporters: to pack a jury.

[C16: perhaps changed from pact]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




1. a group of things wrapped or tied together for easy handling or carrying; a bundle, esp. one carried on the back of an animal or person.

2. a definite quantity or standard measure of merchandise together with its wrapping or package: a pack of cigarettes.

3. the quantity of something that is packaged at one time or in one season: last year’s salmon pack.

4. a group of people or things: a pack of lies.

5. a group of animals of the same kind, esp. predatory ones: a pack of wolves.

6. a number of hounds used together in a hunt.

7. a set of playing cards; deck.


a. a wrapping of the body in wet or dry cloths for therapeutic purposes.

b. the cloths so used.

11. a pastelike substance used as a cosmetic restorative, esp. on the face.


13. to make into a pack or bundle.

14. to form into a group or compact mass.

15. to fill with anything compactly arranged: to pack a trunk.

16. to put into a case, trunk, etc., as for traveling or storage: to pack clothes for a trip.

17. to press or crowd together within; cram: The crowd packed the gallery.

18. to prepare for marketing by putting into packages.

19. to make airtight, vaportight, or watertight by stuffing: to pack the engine.

20. to load, as with packs.

21. to carry or wear as part of one’s usual equipment: to pack a gun.

22. Informal. to be able to deliver: to pack a mean punch.

23. to treat with a therapeutic pack.


24. to pack goods in compact form, as for shipping.

25. to place clothes and personal items in a suitcase, trunk, etc., preparatory to traveling.

26. to adapt to compact storage or packing: dresses that pack well.

27. to crowd together.

28. to become compacted: Wet snow packs readily.

29. pack off or away, to send away with dispatch: to pack the kids off to camp.


30. used in transporting a pack or load.

31. compressed into a pack; packed.

32. used in or adapted for packing.


pack it in, to abandon one’s efforts, career, style of living, or the like: to pack it in and quit school.

[1175–1225; Middle English pak, packe < Middle Dutch pac or Middle Low German pak]

pack′a•ble, adj.




to choose, collect, arrange, or manipulate (cards, persons, facts, etc.) so as to serve one’s own purposes: to pack a jury.

[1520–30; perhaps alter. of obsolete v. derivative of pact,
n. ]

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 a bundle of things enclosed or tied together; a company or set of persons; a large collection or set of things; a number of animals. See also bolt, bundle.

Examples: pack of books; of coal (3 Winchester bushels); of complaints, 1862; of dogs, 1648; of fish (set out in piles to dry), 1800; of fools; of grouse, 1688; of heresies, 1638; of hounds, 1735; of ice, 1791; of icebergs; of Jews, 1548; of knaves, 1693; of lies, 1763; of mules; of nonsense, 1880; of perch; of playing cards, 1597; of ptarmigans, 1862; of rebels, 1562; of schoolboys, 1885; of sorrows, 1591; of stars, 1633; of stoats; of superstitions; of thieves, 1698; of weasels; of witches; of wolves, 1795.

Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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