verb (used with object)
- to hold or include within its volume or area: This glass contains water. This paddock contains our best horses.
- to be capable of holding; have capacity for: The room will contain 75 persons safely.
- to have as contents or constituent parts; comprise; include.
- to keep under proper control; restrain: He could not contain his amusement.
- to prevent or limit the expansion, influence, success, or advance of (a hostile nation, competitor, opposing force, natural disaster, etc.): to contain an epidemic.
- to succeed in preventing the spread of: efforts to contain water pollution.
- Mathematics. (of a number) to be a multiple of; be divisible by, without a remainder: Ten contains five.
- to be equal to: A quart contains two pints.
- to hold or be capable of holding or including within a fixed limit or areathis contains five pints
- to keep (one’s feelings, behaviour, etc) within bounds; restrain
- to consist of; comprisethe book contains three different sections
- military to prevent (enemy forces) from operating beyond a certain level or area
- to be a multiple of, leaving no remainder6 contains 2 and 3
- to have as a subset
v.late 13c., from Old French contein-, stem of contenir, from Latin continere (transitive) “to hold together, enclose,” from com- “together” (see com-) + tenere “to hold” (see tenet). Related: Containable.