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[kuh n-teyn-muh nt] /kənˈteɪn mənt/
the act or condition of containing.
an act or policy of restricting the territorial growth or ideological influence of another, especially a hostile nation.
(in a nuclear power plant) an enclosure completely surrounding a nuclear reactor, designed to prevent the release of radioactive material in the event of an accident.
1645-55; contain + -ment Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for containment
  • Soviet engineers scrambled to come up with a containment solution.
  • Explosions have been recorded at two of the reactors, but do not seem to have breached the crucial inner containment vessels.
  • It was to be the containment structure for a twin to the reactor there today.
  • Make sure you have the correct containment and diet.
  • Wood compost containment bins keep compost confined during the decomposition process.
  • Suddenly, the make of the containment vessel and the specific arrangements of the cooling systems leap to the foreground.
  • For that reason the government instead built its plans around a containment strategy.
  • Moreover, inspections were never the major component of containment-sanctions were.
  • The second seeks the continuation of our earlier policy of deterrence and containment.
  • Theoretically, this configuration would prevent fuel from overheating and breaching the reactor's containment vessel.
British Dictionary definitions for containment


the act or condition of containing, esp of restraining the ideological or political power of a hostile country or the operations of a hostile military force
(from 1947 to the mid-1970s) a principle of US foreign policy that sought to prevent the expansion of Communist power
(physics) Also called confinement. the process of preventing the plasma in a controlled thermonuclear reactor from reaching the walls of the reaction vessel, usually by confining it within a configuration of magnetic fields See magnetic bottle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for containment

1650s, "action or fact of containing," from contain + -ment. As an international policy of the West vs. the Soviet Union, recorded from 1947.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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containment in Culture

containment definition

A policy aimed at controlling the spread of communism around the world, developed in the administration of President Harry S. Truman. The formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949 was an important step in the development of containment.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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