• Contain

    Pronunciation

    • Canada
    • US enPR: kən-tān', IPA: /kənˈteɪn/
    • Rhymes: -eɪn

    Origin

    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").

    Full definition of contain

    Verb

    1. (transitive) To hold inside.
      • 2013-07-20, Welcome to the plastisphere, researchers noticed many of their pieces of marine debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria, .
    2. (transitive) To include as a part.
      • 2014-04-21, Subtle effects, Manganism has been known about since the 19th century, when miners exposed to ores containing manganese, a silvery metal, began to totter, slur their speech and behave like someone inebriated.
    3. (transitive) To put constraint upon; to restrain; to confine; to keep within bounds.
      I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself!
      • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)The king's person contains the unruly people from evil occasions.
      • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves.
      • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging. No omnibus, cab, or conveyance ever built could contain a young man in such a rage. His mother lived at Pembridge Square, which is four good measured miles from Lincoln's Inn.
    4. (mathematics, of a set etc., transitive) To have as an element.
      A group contains a unique inverse for each of its elements.
      If that subgraph contains the vertex in question then it must be spanning.
    5. (obsolete, intransitive) To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.
      • Bible, 1 Corinthians vii. 9.But if they can not contain, let them marry.

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