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contain

[kuh n-teyn] /kənˈteɪn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to hold or include within its volume or area:
This glass contains water. This paddock contains our best horses.
2.
to be capable of holding; have capacity for:
The room will contain 75 persons safely.
3.
to have as contents or constituent parts; comprise; include.
4.
to keep under proper control; restrain:
He could not contain his amusement.
5.
to prevent or limit the expansion, influence, success, or advance of (a hostile nation, competitor, opposing force, natural disaster, etc.):
to contain an epidemic.
6.
to succeed in preventing the spread of:
efforts to contain water pollution.
7.
Mathematics. (of a number) to be a multiple of; be divisible by, without a remainder:
Ten contains five.
8.
to be equal to:
A quart contains two pints.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English conte(y)nen < Anglo-French contener, Old French contenir < Latin continēre, equivalent to con- con- + tenēre to hold (see tenet)
Related forms
containable, adjective
precontain, verb (used with object)
uncontainable, adjective
Synonyms
1. Contain, accommodate, hold, express the idea that something is so designed that something else can exist or be placed within it. Contain refers to what is actually within a given container. Hold emphasizes the idea of keeping within bounds; it refers also to the greatest amount or number that can be kept within a given container. Accommodate means to contain comfortably or conveniently, or to meet the needs of a certain number. A passenger plane that accommodates 50 passengers may be able to hold 60, but at a given time may contain only 30. 3. embody, embrace.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for contains
  • The table contains a spring-fed well, used to cool wine during outdoor banquets.
  • But to hold an egg that actually contains nascent life is quite another matter, a tremendous responsibility.
  • But every candidate's file contains a number of textual clues.
  • The bulk of the page contains your notes, which you click on to expand.
  • It is a view that contains specific lessons about what works and what does not.
  • It contains no criticism of the university, not even constructive criticism.
  • In my heart there is a chamber larger than a stadium that scarcely contains my overflow admiration and affection for jazz singers.
  • The tape contains full-length coverage, with cuts made only during phases of inactivity.
  • Coffee contains antioxidants that help control the cell damage that can contribute to the development of the disease.
  • The gallery contains a large collection of paintings, printed art, photography and sculptures.
British Dictionary definitions for contains

contain

/kənˈteɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to hold or be capable of holding or including within a fixed limit or area: this contains five pints
2.
to keep (one's feelings, behaviour, etc) within bounds; restrain
3.
to consist of; comprise: the book contains three different sections
4.
(military) to prevent (enemy forces) from operating beyond a certain level or area
5.
(maths)
  1. to be a multiple of, leaving no remainder: 6 contains 2 and 3
  2. to have as a subset
Derived Forms
containable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French contenir, from Latin continēre, from com- together + tenēre to hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for contains

contain

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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