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[mach-boks] /ˈmætʃˌbɒks/
a small box, usually of cardboard, for matches.
Origin of matchbox
1780-90; match1 + box1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for matchbox
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But Davy had brought out his matchbox, and was striking a light.

  • She bent forward, gripped a matchbox, and lit the cigarette for him.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • Sara flushed, and, having lit her cigarette, tendered him his matchbox with an icy little word of thanks.

    The Hermit of Far End Margaret Pedler
  • Without waking his companions he found a matchbox and lit the cigarette.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Among the jetsam of those restless Fundy tides almost anything that will float may appear, from a matchbox to a barn.

    The House in the Water Charles G. D. Roberts
  • Then he fumbled about in the darkness for a lamp and matchbox.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • In her right hand was found the charred stump of a match, and in her left a matchbox.

  • He extended his hand to put back the matchbox in its corner of the shelf.

    Typhoon Joseph Conrad
  • The blow was aimed at Dinny Johnny, but the moment was miscalculated, and it fell on "matchbox" instead.

    All on the Irish Shore E. Somerville and Martin Ross
British Dictionary definitions for matchbox


a small box for holding matches
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 matchbox

also match-box, 1786, from match (n.1) + box (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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