Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To have within; hold.
  • transitive verb To be capable of holding.
  • transitive verb To have as a component or constituent part; include.
  • transitive verb To hold or keep within limits; restrain.
  • transitive verb To halt the spread or development of; check.
  • transitive verb To check the expansion or influence of (a hostile power or ideology) by containment.
  • transitive verb Mathematics To be exactly divisible by.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hold within fixed limits; comprehend; comprise; include; hold.
  • To be capable of holding; have, as a vessel, an internal volume equal to: as, this vessel contains two gallons.
  • To comprise, as a writing; have as contents.
  • To hold in opinion; regard (with).
  • Reflexively, to conduct or deport (one's self); hence, to act; do.
  • To put restraint on; restrain; retain; withhold.
  • Reflexively, to keep within bounds; hold in; moderate.
  • In mathematics, to be divisible by, without a remainder.
  • To restrain or control desire, action, or emotion.
  • To exist; be held or included; be or remain.
  • 3. To conduct one's self; appear in action; behave.
  • To hold (a body of troops) in position, usually by deploying the containing force in its front and threatening an attack.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.
  • transitive verb To hold within fixed limits; to comprise; to include; to inclose; to hold.
  • transitive verb To have capacity for; to be able to hold; to hold; to be equivalent to.
  • transitive verb Obs., exept as used reflexively. To put constraint upon; to restrain; to confine; to keep within bounds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive : To hold inside.
  • verb transitive : To include as a part.
  • verb transitive : To limit through restraint.
  • verb mathematics, transitive To have as an element.
  • verb obsolete, intransitive To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb contain or hold; have within
  • verb include or contain; have as a component
  • verb be divisible by
  • verb be capable of holding or containing
  • verb hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of
  • verb lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English conteinen, from Old French contenir, from Latin continēre : com-, com- + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French contenir, from Latin continere ("to hold or keep together, comprise, contain"), combined form of con- ("together") + teneō ("to hold").

Examples

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