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contain Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb include or contain; have as a component
    incorporate; comprise.
    • A totally new idea is comprised in this paper
    • The record contains many old songs from the 1930's
  2. verb contain or hold; have within
    carry; hold; bear.
    • The jar carries wine
    • The canteen holds fresh water
    • This can contains water
  3. verb lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
    control; moderate; hold in; curb; hold; check.
    • moderate your alcohol intake
    • hold your tongue
    • hold your temper
    • control your anger
  4. verb be divisible by
    • 24 contains 6
  5. verb be capable of holding or containing
    hold; take.
    • This box won't take all the items
    • The flask holds one gallon
  6. verb hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of
    turn back; stop; hold back; arrest; check.
    • Arrest the downward trend
    • Check the growth of communism in South East Asia
    • Contain the rebel movement
    • Turn back the tide of communism

Con*tain" transitive verb
OE. contenen, conteinen, F. contenir, fr. L. continere, -tentum; con- + tenere to hold. See Tenable, and cf. Countenance.
imperfect & past participle Contained ; present participle & verbal noun Containing
  1. To hold within fixed limits; to comprise; to include; to inclose; to hold.
    Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens can not contain thee; how much less this house! 2 Chron. vi. 18.
    When that this body did contain a spirit. Shak.
    What thy stores contain bring forth. Milton.
  2. To have capacity for; to be able to hold; to hold; to be equivalent to; as, a bushel contains four pecks.
  3. To put constraint upon; to restrain; to confine; to keep within bounds. Obs., exept as used reflexively.
    The king's person contains the unruly people from evil occasions. Spenser.
    Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves. Shak.
Con*tain" intransitive verb
  1. To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.
    But if they can not contain, let them marry. 1 Cor. vii. 9.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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