verb (used with object)

  1. to undo or remove the contents from (a box, trunk, etc.).
  2. to remove (something) from a container, suitcase, etc.
  3. to unburden, as the mind; reveal.
  4. to decipher or discern (the meaning of symbols, statements, etc.): Each statement could be unpacked in the general theory.
  5. to remove a pack or load from (a horse, vehicle, etc.).

verb (used without object)

  1. to remove the contents of a container.


  1. to remove the packed contents of (a case, trunk, etc)
  2. (tr) to take (something) out of a packed container
  3. (tr) to remove a pack from; unloadto unpack a mule
  4. (tr) to explain (a question, issue, etc) by analysing its component parts

v.late 15c., from un- (2) + pack (v.). Cf. Dutch ontpakken. Related: Unpacked; unpacking.

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