synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of pack in English

English Online Dictionary. What means pack‎? What does pack mean?



  • IPA(key): /pæk/, [pʰæk]
  • Rhymes: -æk

Etymology 1

From Middle English pak, pakke, from Old English *pæcca and/or Middle Dutch pak, packe; both ultimately from Proto-Germanic *pakkô (bundle, pack). Cognate with Dutch pak (pack), Low German Pack (pack), German Pack (pack), Swedish packe (pack), Icelandic pakka, pakki (package).


pack (plural packs)

  1. A bundle made up and prepared to be carried; especially, a bundle to be carried on the back, but also a load for an animal, a bale.
    The horses carried the packs across the plain.
  2. A number or quantity equal to the contents of a pack
  3. A multitude.
  4. A number or quantity of connected or similar things; a collective.
  5. A full set of playing cards; also, the assortment used in a particular game.
    We were going to play cards, but nobody brought a pack.
  6. A number of hounds or dogs, hunting or kept together.
    • 2005, John D. Skinner and Christian T. Chimimba, The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion‎
      African wild dogs hunt by sight, although stragglers use their noses to follow the pack.
  7. A wolfpack: a number of wolves, hunting together.
  8. A number of persons associated or leagued in a bad design or practice; a gang.
    a pack of thieves or knaves
  9. A group of Cub Scouts.
  10. A shook of cask staves.
  11. A bundle of sheet-iron plates for rolling simultaneously.
  12. A large area of floating pieces of ice driven together more or less closely.
    The ship had to sail round the pack of ice.
  13. (medicine) An envelope, or wrapping, of sheets used in hydropathic practice, called dry pack, wet pack, cold pack, etc., according to the method of treatment.
  14. (slang): A loose, lewd, or worthless person.
  15. (snooker, pool) A tight group of object balls in cue sports. Usually the reds in snooker.
  16. (rugby) The forwards in a rugby team (eight in Rugby Union, six in Rugby League) who with the opposing pack constitute the scrum.
    The captain had to take a man out of the pack to replace the injured fullback.

(full set of cards): deck

Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English pakken, from the noun (see above). Compare Middle Dutch packen (to pack), Middle Low German packen (to pack).


pack (third-person singular simple present packs, present participle packing, simple past and past participle packed)

  1. (physical) To put or bring things together in a limited or confined space, especially for storage or transport.
    1. (transitive) To make a pack of; to arrange closely and securely in a pack; hence, to place and arrange compactly as in a pack; to press into close order or narrow compass.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Joseph Addison
        strange materials packed up with wonderful art
    2. (transitive) To fill in the manner of a pack, that is, compactly and securely, as for transportation; hence, to fill closely or to repletion; to stow away within; to cause to be full; to crowd into.
    3. (transitive) To envelop in a wet or dry sheet, within numerous coverings.
    4. (transitive) To render impervious, as by filling or surrounding with suitable material, or to fit or adjust so as to move without giving passage to air, water, or steam.
    5. (intransitive) To make up packs, bales, or bundles; to stow articles securely for transportation.
    6. (intransitive) To admit of stowage, or of making up for transportation or storage; to become compressed or to settle together, so as to form a compact mass.
    7. (intransitive) To gather in flocks or schools.
    8. (transitive, historical) To combine (telegraph messages) in order to send them more cheaply as a single transmission.
  2. (social) To cheat, to arrange matters unfairly.
    1. (transitive, card games) To sort and arrange (the cards) in a pack so as to secure the game unfairly.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
        Mighty dukes pack cards for half a crown.
    2. (transitive) To bring together or make up unfairly and fraudulently, in order to secure a certain result.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Francis Atterbury
        The expected council was dwindling into [] a packed assembly of Italian bishops.
    3. (transitive) To contrive unfairly or fraudulently; to plot.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Fuller
        He lost life [] upon a nice point subtilely devised and packed by his enemies.
    4. (intransitive) To unite in bad measures; to confederate for ill purposes; to join in collusion.
      • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5 Scene 1
        This naughty man / Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, / Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong, / Hired to it by your brother.
  3. (transitive) To load with a pack; hence, to load; to encumber.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey
  4. To move, send or carry.
    1. (transitive) To cause to go; to send away with baggage or belongings; especially, to send away peremptorily or suddenly; – sometimes with off. See pack off.
      • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
        Till George be packed with post horse up to heaven.
    2. (transitive, US, Western US) To transport in a pack, or in the manner of a pack (i. e., on the backs of men or animals).
    3. (intransitive) To depart in haste; – generally with off or away.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
        Poor Stella must pack off to town.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Alfred Tennyson
        You shall pack, / And never more darken my doors again.
    4. (transitive, slang) To carry weapons, especially firearms, on one's person.
  5. (transitive, sports, slang) To block a shot, especially in basketball.
  6. (intransitive, rugby, of the forwards in a rugby team) To play together cohesively, specially with reference to their technique in the scrum.
  7. (intransitive, LGBT slang, of a drag king, transman, etc.) To wear a prosthetic penis inside one’s trousers for better verisimilitude.
  • (To sort and arrange (the cards) in a pack so as to secure the game unfairly): stack
  • (make into a pack): unpack
Derived terms



  • IPA(key): /pak/


pack m (plural packs)

  1. pack (item of packaging)
  2. pack ice
  3. (sports) A rugby team

Middle English



  1. Alternative form of pak




  1. intimate; confidential



From English pack.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpak/


pack m (plural packs)

  1. pack, package
  2. kit, set, bundle



pack n

  1. a group of unwanted people, lower class people, trash
  2. stuff, things, luggage; only in the expression pick och pack


See also

  • packa
  • paket

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.